POSTED ON JANUARY 24, 2021
In front of media, the accused confesses of being recruited, with others, to execute plot to shoot farmer leaders at Singhu border, incite violence, rest of the gang is ‘missing’
In a sudden press conference farmer union leaders at Singhu border presented an unidentified man who said he was hired to execute a plot to incite violence, kill union leaders. Now being termed a hired ‘sharp shooter’ the man was caught by alert farmers, masked to protect identity, brought before the assembled media and then was handed over to police.
In a black hooded jacket and a handkerchief covering his face, the suspect revealed at the press meet that was streamed live, late on January 22 night, that a conspiracy to kill four top farmer leaders was planned by the ‘agencies’. He said he was hired by “a policeman from Rai (Haryana),” and was asked to recce the area, and then help others, also hired to incite violence, smuggle in “guns” into the protest site.
What should put security agencies on high alert is that the suspect has also revealed that there are nine others who were hired and may still be embedded at the Singhu border protest. He said there were two women who are a part of this gang allegedly hired to create disturbance and unleash violence at the Farmers Protest.
The man said he got nabbed when he, along with a girl, attempted to make fake allegations of eve-teasing at the protest site. He seemed a bit shaken as he told the media that he and the others were allegedly hired and trained by someone who he alleged was wearing a “police dress”. They had allegedly been tasked with creating disturbances, inciting violence at the farmers protest, and also the proposed tractor parade on Republic Day. He also claimed that they had been given orders to shoot the four farmer leaders who would be in the state.
He said the gang was given photos of these leaders but were not told their names. He said that there were nine other hired, including two girls, and all of them were tasked with inciting violence during the ongoing agitation that is now also preparing for Republic Day farmers’ tractor march. He said this group was told to fire shots during the agitation, so that it appears that the “firing was being done by the farmers”. He claimed that he was also involved in the violence that took place during the massive Jat agitation in 2016, and also claimed he was involved in “lathi charge” during a recent rally in Karnal district of Haryana.
While the man has alleged that he was trained by someone who met him in “police dress” according to a report in Indian Express, “sources said no policeman in the police station concerned was identified by the youth.” The farm union leaders, who sat on either side of the suspect have alleged that this is a part of a plot hatched to break the agitation.
According to the union leaders, “Weapons were to be supplied to this group. On January 26, they had to open fire on the police so that the cops think the farmers are firing on the police. They also had a plan to get the national flag down to hurt the national sentiments (during tractor parade) and incite people.” The suspect had reportedly shown the photographs of the four farmer leaders who were to be targeted. However they were not identified at the press meet. The farmer leaders kept assuring the youth that he will not be harmed, and he was subsequently handed the man over to the local police for further investigations. The leaders have not named or accused anyone in particular but have hinted that the plot may have allegedly had a ‘sarkari’ or official backing.
Meanwhile, on all borders, volunteers have been on high alert over the last few days, keeping an eye out for trouble makers. “We have been here for two months now, and recognise the locals who come to the langar seva,” said one volunteer on security duty at Tikri border. Another at Ghaziabad border, some 80 kilometers away, said the farmers who are coming in large numbers for January 26 are also on alert. Many security personnel are also on duty at the edges of each protest, and those spending nights there say many security personnel in plain clothes also visit the protest sites, including the langars, medical camps, supply areas, sleeping areas.
The farmers are also most wary of who they term as ‘godi media’ or media that is sitting in the laps of corporations and politicians. “We have learnt to identify them even when they come alone and try to take interviews here, we only appreciate social media and independent journalists and web portals,” said a farmer at a border protest. The farmers speak in one voice and say they will remain peaceful and will participate in the Republic Day march on the route as instructed by the farmer union leaders. “We have our grandparents, parents, and children here with us, we are all here on a peaceful mission and will continue sitting here till we are heard,” said a woman farmer at Tikri border.
More farmers, farm workers, labourers, from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and other places are arriving at Singhu Border each day. The united slogan this week is “26JanDelhiChalo”
Delhi-Haryana border points where the farmer protests are going on remain closed to vehicles, however Shahjahanpur and Ghazipur remain partially open as of now. The combined numbers of farmers now sitting in protest at Tikri, Singhu, Shahjahanpur, Ghazipur now runs into lakhs and there are other groups sitting in protest across the country as well. The numbers are expected to grow in the coming days.