New Delhi: Agitating farmers at the Singhu Border late on the night of January 22 night levelled a sensational allegation, claiming security agencies were plotting to kill four farmer leaders from Punjab and cause a disruption in the law-and-order situation during the proposed tractor parade on January 26.
The farmer leaders presented a masked man before a battery of journalists late last night. The man was alleged to have been hired – along with his team – by a Haryana Police official to shoot dead the farmer leaders whose photos had already been given to his gang. A few sharp shooters from his group had been tasked to execute the sinister plan, the man claimed.
He said that farmers would first be a given a warning by the police to not proceed with tractors for the proposed parade. If they did not pay heed to the warning and moved ahead, he said, they would be shot in their knees by the police.
“We have been asked to join the protesters and fire back at the police from the crowd so the cops get a sense that farmers are resorting to opening fire at them,” he alleged.
“We have been divided into two teams. While one team has been tasked to shoot dead the farmer leaders on January 26 if they try to storm Delhi with tractors, the other will fire at the cops in the case of a confrontation between the two sides,” he said.
He said he had been planted at the Singhu Border on January 19 to find out whether the farmers at the protest site were armed with weapons. He also alleged his team would be supplied with firearms and that the rest of his team would join him on January 26.
The young man is said to be a resident of Almora in Uttarakhand but lives at Sonipat, Hayana.
Levelling a serious allegation, he claimed he and his team had been roped in for the purpose by a police official named Pradeep. The purported police official told the man he was the Station House Officer (SHO) of Rai Police Station in Sonipat district.
“The Rai Police Station SHO had given us the contract of eliminating the farmers and creating a ruckus on January 26. I don’t recognise him by face as he was masked. I was able to figure out his name from his badge,” he claimed.
Jagjit Singh Dallewal from the Bharatiya Kisan Union-Ekta faction (BKU-Ekta) said the man was caught by a group of volunteers who are on vigil each night to ensure that no untoward incident takes place.
“He was caught eve-teasing a girl at the protest site. He was caught and grilled. He revealed he was harassing the girl with the aim to provoke the protesters to flaunt their weapons if they had any. Later, the girl whom he was supposedly molesting turned out to be a member of his team. When we quizzed him further, he revealed a bigger conspiracy,” he said.
The man has been handed over to the Haryana Police and has been taken to Kundli Police Station for questioning.
He alleged such instances were taking place at the behest of government agencies and other forces who are trying hard to defame and weaken the protest.
The Rai Police Station SHO, who the man claimed was the conspirator, rubbished the allegation. He said there no one in his police station who goes by the name Pradeep.
The SHO, Vivek Malik, has been serving at the police station for the past seven months.
He said he heard of the allegation from the press conference. “The boy was saying he has been asked to open fire at protesters in police uniform. Why will the police go among farmers? Nothing happened in the tractor march organised by the protesters earlier. It took place peacefully,” he told NewsClick.
He said he had done nothing wrong and was, therefore, responding to journalists’ queries. “I have done nothing wrong. I am sitting in the police station and not running away,” he added.
The youth also revealed his involvement at the incident in Karnal where Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar's stage was vandalised ahead of his rally in support of the Farm Laws. He also claimed he had played a role during the violence which had taken place during the Jat agitation in 2016.
Singhu Border is one of five entry points into Delhi where thousands of farmers have been camping, blocking National Highway 44, since November 26, to press the Central Government to repeal the three recently-enacted Farm Laws.
This is not the first such case from the ongoing agitation. Earlier, the protesters had caught several people they found suspicious roaming, pushing them towards supporting the government, raising objectionable slogans and pamphlets with misguided content. A suspicious device was also seized.
Rakesh Tikait, leader of another faction of the BKU, alleged that conspiracies were being hatched to cause violence and scuttle the ongoing protest. “Such incidents are government sponsored and aimed at causing violence. But farmers will not let it happen. So, the government must stop playing dirty politics,” he added.