New Delhi: Popular Front of India Chairman O M A Salam has, in a statement, urged civil society not to be misled by the wanton attempts to tarnish the farmers agitation using untoward incidents happened during the Tractor Rally on the Republic Day.
The Tractor Rally declared by the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha turned out to be a historic event by the massive participation of the farmers and the countrywide support and solidarity it garnered. The programme concluded peacefully save for some incidents of violence and clashes with police. However, there were malicious attempts on the part of the government and a section of media to tarnish the entire agitation pointing to these incidents. BJP leaders made fake claims from their social media handles that the protestors raised Khalistani flags from the ramparts of the Red Fort by removing Indian national flag. This should be seen as part of the same attempt to discredit any popular movement tagging them ‘anti-national’ and paving the way for violent oppression. Using the criminals to infiltrate the agitation and provoking the protesters to violence, right-wing gangs have used this tactic against popular movements from the very beginning. They did it against student protests at JNU and anti-CAA-NRC-NPR movement. Now they are doing the same against famers’ agitations. There is a strong suspicion that right wing elements have infiltrated into the agitation and provoked violence.
Popular Front condemns the violence and also the police brutality upon the farmers in different parts of the national capital. Popular Front also calls for an independent investigation under a sitting Supreme Court judge into the incidents. At the same time, the Front would like to make it clear that such incidents should not be used to demonise the farmers or delegitimize the genuine cause upheld by the farmers in the 2-month-long peaceful movement.