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Published On: Mon, Sep 28th, 2020

Tractor burnt at India Gate amid protest against farm bills

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tractor-burntIRA JHA
NEW DELHI : Around 15-20 people set a tractor on fire at India Gate in Delhi on Monday morning, police said. The incident comes amid protests by farmers and opposition parties across the country over the contentious farm legislations that were passed by the Parliament last week.
The tractor was set afire hours before Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh of the Congress began a sit-in at Bhagat Singh’s ancestral village of Khatkar Kalan against the laws.
Farmers have been blocking the Amritsar-Delhi railway track as part of protests against the laws even as the government has insisted that they will make them self-reliant. They say the new laws could lead to an end of the minimum support prices for their produce.
According to fire officials, they received information regarding the incident at 7.42 am and two fire tenders were rushed to the spot. “About 15-20 people had gathered around 7.15-7.30 am and tried to set a tractor on fire. The fire has been doused off and the tractor was removed.”
The Delhi Police on Monday arrested least five people after a tractor was set on fire near the India Gate in the national capital during the ongoing protests against farm bills.A case was registered under sections 3 Epidemic Act, 51 (B) Disaster Management Act, 4 Damage to Public Property Act, 188, 435, 283, 285, 269.
The police also seized an Innova car and the truck in which the tractor was brought. Sandeep Singh Bhullar, a resident of Punjab’s Bathinda, had bought this tractor. He is a secretary in Punjab Youth Congress and claims to be a farmer too.

Sandeep bought the tractor from a farmer in Teona on September 19. The tractor was purchased for Rs 58, 000 and belongs to Harmandeep Singh, son of Darshan Singh of Teona village in Bathinda district.
Sandeep was scheduled to come to Delhi with 1,500 tractors. On September 20, an attempt was made to set this tractor on fire at the Shambhu border area of Punjab and Haryana but was stopped by the fire brigade.
It was decided on September 26 that the tractor would be lit on fire at Rajpath and brought the tractor from Punjab in a truck. The tractor reached Delhi at 3.30 am.
According to DCP New Delhi “Around 15- 20 persons gathered here [India Gate] and tried to set a tractor on fire. The fire has been doused off and a tractor was also removed. Those involved are being identified. Probe underway.”

The BJP on Monday blasted the Congress over the burning of a tractor near India Gate here, allegedly by opposition party workers, saying it has “shamed” the country with its “drama” aimed at publicity and “misleading” farmers.
Senior party leaders, including Union ministers, hit out at the Congress with Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar condemning the incident and accusing the opposition of misleading farmers.
Meanwhile, the farmers of Karnataka have called a state-wide bandh on Monday to protest against the farm bills. The police force has been deployed at several places in the state to maintain law and order.
The Congress has likened the laws to cancer and slow poison that will kill farmers and agriculture. It has urged all parties to come together and oppose the laws, which the party said will make farmers “slaves of big businessmen”.
Meanwhile, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today asked Congress-ruled states to consider bringing laws to overrule the centre’s farm laws, which have provoked massive farmer protests in parts of the country. 

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