The Delhi Police have so far registered 38 cases and arrested 84 people in connection with the violence during a tractor parade by farmers here on Republic Day, officials said on Saturday. The tractor march by farmers protesting against the three recent agriculture laws had turned violent, leading to chaotic scenes on the streets of the national capital on Republic Day. Thousands of protesting farmers had clashed with the police during the parade. Many of them, driving tractors, reached the Red Fort and entered the monument.
They also hoisted flags on the domes and placed a flagstaff at the ramparts of the national monument, where the national flag is unfurled by the prime minister on Independence Day. Police had asked nine farmer leaders to join the investigation in the case on Friday, but no one turned up.
1700 video clips, CCTV footage, dump data of phone calls recovered
The Delhi Police have also received 1,700 video clips and CCTV footage from the public so far related to the violence during farmers' Republic Day tractor rally and is taking help from forensic experts to analyse the material and identify the culprits, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) BK Singh said on Saturday. Singh said the Crime Branch, which is investigating the nine cases related to the violence including at the Red Fort and ITO, is also examining dump data of mobile phone calls and registration numbers of tractors.
He said a team from the National Forensic Sciences University has been called to analyse the video clips and CCTV footage related to the violence that left 394 police personnel injured and one protester dead.
On Friday, the Delhi Police had issued an appeal in leading newspapers asking people to share any evidence or information about the violence.
"After our appeal, Delhi Police has received 1,700 video clips and CCTV footage from public related to the violence that took place during the tractor parade on Republic Day. Through videos, we will identify culprits who indulged in the violence," Singh said.
He said that investigators are also analysing footage and photos taken from drone-mounted cameras and carrying out 3D mapping of the area vandalised at the Red Fort.
A team of forensic experts on Saturday visited the Red Fort to collect samples.
Delhi witnessed violence during the January 26 tractor rally organised by protesting farmer unions to highlight their demand for the repeal of the Centre's three farm laws.
Many of the protesters, driving tractors, reached the Red Fort while some of them hoisted religious flags on its domes and the flagstaff at the ramparts, where the national flag is unfurled by the prime minister on Independence Day.
Next meeting with Centre on Feb 2
Heightened security deployment has continued at the Singhu border (Delhi-Haryana border) as farmers' protest against three agriculture laws entered the 67th day on Sunday. The next round of talks between the farmers and the Centre is scheduled for February 2. Security has been beefed up as more farmers are coming to the protest site for the past two-three days.
"Government is changing the goal-post. It is a bad thing. They are not taking any decision. The government should repeal the laws. It will be better for the farmers and the government," Shyam, a protesting farmer at Ghazipur border said.
Another farmer Ram Beer Singh said, "We will not accept the proposal. We will continue to protest. We have not done anything bad and we want the repeal of the laws."
Protestors were seen raising slogans against the central government. They were demanding the repeal of farm laws. They were also seen sitting on 'relay hunger strike'.
"Since December 22, 2020, we are organising relay hunger where 11 farmers sit on hunger strike for 24 hours. Farmers are ready for talks with the government if they have good intention. We are always ready for talks," Tajinder Singh Virk, a farmer leader said.
Meanwhile, to 'maintain public safety and averting public emergency', the Union Home Ministry has temporarily suspended internet services at the three borders and their adjoining areas from 11 pm of January 29 to 11 pm of January 31. The Haryana government has also extended the suspension of internet services in 17 districts till 5 pm on January 31. The Delhi Police has also closed the NH-24 route.
During all party-meeting on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated that the proposal of government given to farmers on January 22 still stands and should be communicated to all by the leaders of the political parties.
PM Modi has also said that Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar was just a phone call away for protestors.
Farmers have been protesting at different borders of the national capital since November 26, 2020, against the farm laws: Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.