Opposition Leaders Condemn Violence During Tractor Parade

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The police fired tear gas shells and lathi-charged the protesters on multiple occasions.

Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Sitaram Yechury attacked the police for excessive force at ITO.

NEW DELHI — In the wake of clashes between police and protesting farmers in Delhi on Tuesday as the tractor rally burst into the city, opposition parties condemned the violence and called for calm.

Some also attacked the government over the fracas.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi, in a tweet, said: “Sheer anarchy, utter lawlessness, and an absolute mess!

“This government defines inefficiency, mismanagement, and transgression. The government has taught the world how to turn a peaceful protest into a mobocracy.”

Another Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergil, however, said the protest will weaken due to such acts.

“Peace is the strength of any protest and gets weakened when you need to bank upon violence – urge both sides (protestors & police) to remain calm, follow the dharma of democracy because when lives are lost & national property is damaged then it is loss of entire Nation.”

Congress leader and former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor expressed concern over the death of a protesting farmer.

“Saddened to learn of the death of a protestor in police firing. Authorities must urge the police to observe restraint. Violence resolves nothing & resorting to it reduces the state to the level of its enemies. We must resolve this crisis through democratic means, not force,” he said.

Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Sitaram Yechury attacked the police for excessive force at ITO.

“Tear gassing and lathicharging Kisans is unacceptable. Why, after the Delhi Police & Samyukt Kisan Morcha agreement? Why is the government provoking a confrontation. They must allow the peaceful, agreed tractor parade to continue,” he said in a reaction prior to the hooliganism at Red Fort.

In an unexpected development, hundreds of protesting farmers swarmed the historic Red Fort on Tuesday as their ‘Kisan Gantantra Parade’ turned violent at several places in the national capital.

A large group of farmers, riding tractors and motorcycles and with tricolours and farmer union flags, stormed the Red Fort. A few youths even climbed up the flagpole on the 17th century landmark and put up a saffron-coloured pennant.

The police fired tear gas shells and lathi-charged the protesters on multiple occasions as farmers remained adamant to move towards the Red Fort.

Meanwhile, Samyukt Kisan Morcha, the joint body of farmer unions, blamed for the violent move on “anti-social elements” and said they have infiltrated their “peaceful movement”.

“We thank farmers for the unprecedented participation in today’s Farmers Republic Day Parade. We also condemn and regret the undesirable and unacceptable events that have taken place today and dissociate ourselves from those indulging in such acts,” said the Morcha in a statement issued on Tuesday.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait said the violence was part of political parties’ conspiracy to malign the movement. — IANS

(Inputs added)

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