A day after a masked man at the Singhu border of the national capital alleged a plot to shoot four farmers and cause disruption during a tractors march by farmers on January 26, Haryana Police said that the individual has neither been arrested nor detained and was only under interrogation.
"He (the masked man presented by farmer leaders at Singhu border yesterday) is neither under detention nor has been arrested. We are just questioning him," said Sonipat Superintendent of Police (SP) Jashandeep S Randhawa.
Presenting further details on the identity of the masked individual, the police said that he has been identified as a resident of Sonipat and had made the statements yesterday "under fear".
"He is a resident of Sonipat & is unemployed. On questioning, it came into fore that he had arguments with farmer volunteers over allegations of eve-teasing. He was taken to a camp where he was beaten up. He has said he made statements under fear," Randhawa said.
The Sonipat SP further said that although the masked man had alleged that he was tasked by a police inspector called 'Pradeep' of the Rai Police Station, primary investigation has revealed that there is no such cop with the aforementioned name in the entire district.
"Yesterday, he alleged that he was tasked by one inspector Pradeep, SHO of Rai Police Station. Our preliminary investigation shows that there is no inspector named Pradeep is in the district or at Rai Police Station," Sonipat SP Jashandeep Singh Randhawa said.
Earlier, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had also said that the police are interrogating the masked man and nothing can be said until the probe is completed.
"The police are interrogating him and nothing can be said until the investigation is completed. All usual security arrangements are in place for Republic Day programmes," the CM said while speaking to reporters on Saturday.
Addressing the media persons a day earlier, farmer leader Kulwant Singh Sandhu claimed, "Attempts are being made by agencies to disrupt the farmers' agitation." He further said that the masked man along with his other teammates have been threatened that their family members will be killed if they leak any information.
Speaking to the media yesterday, the masked man had said, "We had planned to stop farmers from moving ahead during the January 26 rally and if they did not stop, we had planned to first fire in the air and then our other teammates were to fire from behind so that the police officials present at the spot think that the farmers are firing at them." He further claimed that they are a team of 10 people including two women.
"Our team was given weapons at two places here. During the January 26 rally, it was planned that half of the people (of his team) will be present wearing police uniforms to scatter the farmers' groups. We were also given the photograph of four people, who were to be shot, present at the stage. The person who directed us is a cop," the masked man had further claimed.
"We were working for money. There are other people as well who are involved in this who are yet to be caught. I would request that our families should not be informed about this. We were to be given Rs 10,000 each to carry out the disruption," he added.
The man asserted there are 90 per cent chances that the disruption will be carried out here on January 26.
"I have also informed about the appearance of the people who will come here to cause disruption. Those men will be wearing boots, turbans and ribbed jeans. Other men who will come to January 26 rally will come in police uniforms," the man had claimed.
Explaining his role along with other teammates during "Jaat Agitation", the masked man said, "Our only role during Jaat Aandolan was to wear police uniforms and do a lathi charge. We were active for the past two days." The masked man was later handed over to the police.
(With inputs from agencies)