Mumbai-based law student writes to CJI to take cognisance of violence during farmers' tractor march
Photo Credit: ANI

A Mumbai-based law student on Tuesday wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of India S A Bobde urging him to take suo motu cognisance of the violence that took place at the Red Fort during the farmers' tractor march on Republic Day.

The letter by Mumbai University student Ashish Rai claims that the tractor march "has been terrorized by some anti-social elements."

It further points out that at the Red Fort, the manner in which "the flag of another community has been waved in place of the national flag of India, hurt the honor and dignity of the country."

In the letter, Rai also claims that a lot of public property was damaged. "It is a shameful event. And the whole country is also hurt by this incident because of this incident, the national flag has also been insulted with the constitution of the country," it states, adding that "such kind of activities damage the constitutional sentiments of Indian citizen (sic)."

Rai has requested that "a Special Investigation Committee be formed on this entire matter to conduct a rigorous inquiry against the anti-social elements involved in this unconstitutional activity and to punish the accused."

The tractor march meant to highlight farmers' demands dissolved into anarchy on the streets of the national capital on Tuesday, as hordes of rampaging protesters broke through barriers, fought with the police, overturned vehicles, and delivered a national insult—hoisting a religious flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort, a privilege reserved for the Tricolour.

Tens of thousands of protesters clashed with the police in multiple places, leading to chaos at well-known landmarks of Delhi and its areas, amid waves of violence that ebbed and flowed through the day, leaving the farmers' two-month peaceful movement in tatters.

On a Republic Day like no other, farmers atop tractors, on motorcycles, and some on horses broke barricades to enter the city at least two hours before they were supposed to start the march (noon), as sanctioned by authorities. Steel and concrete barriers were broken and trailer trucks overturned as pitched battles broke out in several parts of the city.

Eclipsing the traditional show of military might at Rajpath, the farmers' tractor march that was supposed to be peaceful led to virtual anarchy on the streets and unprecedented scenes—the most perhaps being the sight of protesters clambering up the flagpole at the Red Fort, the centre stage of India's Independence Day celebrations, to hoist the 'Nishaan Sahib', the Sikh religious flag.

Farmer leaders, who have been spearheading the protest at the national capital's border points to demand a repeal of the farm laws, distanced themselves from these chaotic protests whose unseemly turn threatened to shift public sympathy from their movement.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of 41 farmer unions, alleged that some "antisocial elements" infiltrated their otherwise peaceful movement.

(With inputs from agencies)

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