The agitating anarchists on the borders of Delhi, who defiled national symbols at the iconic Red Fort in Delhi on Republic Day were hoping to do the same on February 1 at the country’s Parliament. February 1 is the day when the Union Budget will be presented by the Finance Minister for the financial year 2021-22. The agitators were gearing up for a foot march to the seat of Indian democracy – until the Delhi Police came cracking down hard on no less than 37 union leaders, including Darshan Pal, Rakesh Tikait, Balbir Singh Rajewal, Yogendra Yadav, among others. Now, they have cancelled their march to the Parliament.
“We have cancelled our plan for a march to Parliament on budget day on February 1. But our agitation will continue and there will be public meetings and hunger strike across the country on January 30,” Darshan Pal said during a press conference aimed at convincing people that the violence of January 26 was, in fact, a high-level government conspiracy to derail the agitation. This, even as various farmers’ unions continue withdrawing their support to the protests, beginning with the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) and All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee.
Meanwhile, now that the leaders of the protest have been named in at least 25 FIRs, the agitation is on the edge and can be expected to fizzle out soon enough. Delhi Police’s FIRs mention multiple IPC sections, including 307 (attempt to murder), 147 (punishment for rioting) and 353 (assault/criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 120B (Punishment of criminal conspiracy).
The farm unionists have also been asked to explain to the police as to why action should not be initiated against them for the violence on Republic Day, in which over 400 police personnel were injured. That the leaders will not be able to defend themselves is known to all. Moreover, Delhi Police is said to have incriminating evidence against them which will spell the death knell of the fake agitation, after of course, anarchist union leaders are put behind bars.
Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava said, “By late evening of January 25, there were indications that they would not keep their word. They brought forward the aggressive and militant elements, who occupied the stage and delivered provocative speeches which made their intentions clear. Farmer leaders were also involved in the violence that broke out during the tractor rally. Some farmer leaders like Satnam Singh Pannu and Darshan Pal gave inflammatory speeches, following which the protesters breached the barricades.”
The cancellation of plans to conduct a foot march to the Parliament in Delhi by the farmers after they were named in multiple FIRs should serve as a lesson for the government – which handed a long rope to the anarchists for far too long. Those with an ulterior motive to effectuate chaos in the country are not impressed by the Centre’s willingness to negotiate or engage with them but only respond to stern action, which threatens to derail their own comfortable lives. In the future too, the government must remember lessons from these agitations, and come down cracking hard on violent elements from the word go.