Samyukta Kisan Morcha claims over 100 people missing since R-Day tractor parade, forms six-member panel

Samyukta Kisan Morcha claims over 100 people missing since R-Day tractor parade, forms six-member panel

The SKM condemned the arrest of journalists and others based on ‘false and fabricated’ charges and claimed that the government was afraid of the rising strength of the farmers’ movement

Tens of thousands of protesting farmers drove long lines of tractors into Delhi on Tuesday, 26 January, breaking through police barricades, defying tear gas and storming the historic Red Fort as the nation celebrated Republic Day. AP

New Delhi: The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farmers’ unions, on Sunday claimed that over 100 people were missing since the violence during the tractor parade on Republic Day, and it has set up a six-member committee to look into the matter.

According to a statement, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) will collect data on such missing persons and the matter will be taken up with the authorities for formal action. Any information on missing persons can be shared on phone number 8198022033, it added.

The tractor parade on 26 January that was to highlight the demands of the farmer unions to repeal the three new agriculture laws devolved into chaos as protesters broke through barriers, fought with police, overturned vehicles, and hoisted a religious flag from the ramparts of the iconic Red Fort.

Clashes broke out in multiple places, leading to violence in well-known landmarks of Delhi and its suburbs, amid waves of violence that ebbed and flowed through the Republic Day.

The SKM condemned the arrest of journalists and others based on “false and fabricated” charges. It claimed that the government was afraid of the rising strength of the farmers’ movement. It also denounced suspension of Internet services at various protest sites on Delhi’s borders.

“The government does not want the facts to reach the protesting farmers… It is fearful of the coordinated work of the farmers’ unions across different protest sites and is trying to cut off communication between them. This is undemocratic and illegal,” the statement read.

The SKM also questioned the cordoning off of the protest sites “from a long distance disallowing common people and mediapersons from reaching the Singhu border”. “This is also to disrupt the supply of food and water,” it alleged.

The morcha claimed that a protester from Maharashtra, who took part in an agitation in Shahjahanpur, died on Sunday. “Shayra Pawara was just 21 years old and her sacrifice will be remembered,” the statement said.

Sunday was declared as Sadbhavana Diwas and was observed across the country, the morcha said, adding faculty members and scholars of Punjab Agriculture University also observed one-day fast in support of the farmers.

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