A protesting farmer hurls back a tear gas shell towards police as they march to the capital during Republic Day celebrations (Image: AP)
Over 25 cases were registered by the Delhi Police in connection to the violence which erupted during farmers' tractor rally. Stringent action would be taken against the farmer leaders if found involved in instigating the violence, Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava said on January 27.
"We have video footages to investigate. We will use face recognition system for investigations and make arrests. No culprit found involved in violence will be spared," he added.
The Delhi Police has named farmer leaders Yogendra Yadav, Rakesh Tikait and Darshan Pal, among others, in the FIRs related to the Republic Day violence.
"Farmer leader Satnam Singh gave provocative statement at Mukarba chowk. Farmer Darshan Pal refused to go back," Shrivastava said in the press briefing.
Putting the onus squarely on rally organisers for the chaos which erupted, the police chief said they violated the agreed schedule and route for the tractor march.
"Considering the Republic Day security, we gave them written permission for the rally with certain terms. The rally was to be taken from 12 noon to 5 pm," Shrivastava said, adding that the rally participants began entering into the capital way before the allotted time.
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The Police Commissioner also pointed out that the farmer leaders violated the agreement to bring only 5,000 tractors for the march. "No weapons allowed. The rally had to be peaceful...Farmers defied all terms agreed in the talks," he added.
"They sent militant and aggressive elements to the front. Their intentions were clear," he said.
"Farmers at Tikri border started moving early too. They staged protest and ultimately indulged in violence. They turned turtle a container to make the way towards Red Fort," he added.
"At Ghazipur too, a group led by Rakesh Tikait indulged in violence and headed towards Akshardham. Many of them broke barricades and moved towards Red Fort," the police chief further said.
Shrivastava lauded the police personnel on duty for exhibiting resilience. "396 police personnel have been injured," he said, adding that a number of those who sustained injuries were admitted in ICUs.