It was one wrong turn in Delhi that put the farmers’ protest against the contentious laws on the wrong foot and has left union leaders condemning and distancing themselves from Tuesday’s violence on the capital’s streets.
Union leaders have blamed ‘outsiders’ for trying to disrupt a ‘peaceful process’ and creating violence.
Also read: Police Lathi-Charge Protesters At Red Fort
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha dissociated itself from “elements that have violated discipline”, according to a statement and called off the Republic Day tractor parade on Tuesday evening.
“Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) has called off the Kisan Republic Day Parade with immediate effect, and has appealed to all participants to immediately return back to their respective protest sites,” a statement issued by the organisation read.
“What’s the use of disassociating or condemning an act after it has been committed?” asked Dinesh Kulkarni, all-India organisational secretary of the RSS-backed Bharatiya Kisan Sangh.
“We also have certain demands and we are talking to the government regarding them,” he stated.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha had said that some organisations and individuals had indulged in condemnable acts on Tuesday.
Samyukta Kisan Morcha is an umbrella organisation consisting of 41 protesting farm unions.
“Anti-social elements had infiltrated the otherwise peaceful movement. Peace is our biggest strength and any violation only hurts the movement,” the organisation’s statement read.
“I don't have the details of what happened in Delhi, but what I heard is condemnable and shameful. this doesn't represent the protest which has been peaceful,” said Swaraj India national president Yogendra Yadav. Read more
“We condemn and regret such events that have taken place today and dissociate ourselves from such acts. Some outsiders wanted to disrupt our peaceful process,” claimed AIKS general secretary Hannan Mollah.
“Despite all our efforts, some organisations and individuals have violated the route and indulged in condemnable acts,” he added.
For now, the union leaders have claimed that they are sticking to their schedule for protests that includes a march to Parliament when the Union Budget is presented on February 1.
However, they are wary of the fact that a law-and-order problem in central Delhi will further spoil their cause. They thus intend to confer among themselves and rework the schedule, if necessary. The details will be known by Thursday, January 28.
“Any kind of violence will go against our protest. We are aware of that. That’s why we are emphasizing on a peaceful protest, said Mollah.
Similar words were also used by Yadav on his social media messages.
It has to be seen now how they can convince the Supreme Court which had earlier warned against any stray incidents while refusing to stay the tractor march.