Protesters were shouting ‘police ko maro’: Injured cop recalls Republic Day tractor rally violence horror

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New Delhi | Updated: Jan 28, 2021 7:37 AM

Tens of thousands of farmers broke barriers to storm the national capital on Tuesday as part of their tractor parade.

Tractor rally protestWhile there were no exact estimates of how many farmers were hurt in Tuesday's violence, the Delhi Police has said 394 of its personnel were injured. (PTI)

“I was inside the Red Fort when hundreds of protesters brandishing weapons stormed the premises shouting ‘police ko maro’,” says Sandeep, operator of DCP North, recalling the moments before he was attacked by some of the farmers who reached the monument after deviating from the designated route for their tractor parade on Tuesday.

“Five to 10 protesters charged at me. They thrashed me with lathis. I ran with some other personnel and hid near a washroom but they found us and thrashed us again. We were scared as all of us were injured,” he said on Wednesday at Tirth Ram Hospital here, where he was taken after he managed to call DCP North Anto Alphonse.

Sandeep sustained injuries on his back, hands and abdomen.

Several other police personnel deployed at the Red Fort on Republic Day were injured as the mob attacked them with sticks, batons and stones.

Head Constable Punjab Singh, who is also undergoing treatment at Tirath Ram Shah Hospital, sustained injuries on his wrist and head.

Singh told reporters that instructions were given to police personnel to clear protesters from the area.

“As we moved to try and convince the protesters to stop, we were gheraoed by them. They started attacking us with lathis. We tried to run away but were trapped. I was attacked with lathis and sustained injuries on my wrist and head. I was not even in a position to stand and fell to the ground,” he said.

Tens of thousands of farmers broke barriers to storm the national capital on Tuesday as part of their tractor parade to press their demand for the repeal of the Centre’s contentious farm laws.

Unprecedented scenes of anarchy were witnessed across Delhi as the protesters fought with police, overturned vehicles and hoisted a religious flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort, a privilege reserved for India’s tricolour.

Woman Constable Rekha suffered internal injuries, according to her husband Naresh, who works with a private firm.

“My wife has sustained internal injuries as per doctors. She just underwent a CT scan and the report is awaited. She is not able to speak much and needs rest,” said Naresh.

Station House Officer, Wazirabad, P C Yadav sustained injuries on his face, head and back and fractured his hand.

He said he had to undergo surgery and received around 10-12 stitches on his head.

In a video shared online, Yadav told reporters that he was on duty at the Red Fort when a large number of protesters entered the premises. While some of them proceeded towards the ramparts, others attacked his colleagues on the ground.

“We tried to clear the protesters from there but they turned aggressive and attacked us with swords and lathis. They attacked our colleagues too. I noticed one of them sustained a severe injury on his head… I also fell unconscious,” he said.

“We exercised restrain since they were farmers. If we had used force, the number of casualties would have been higher,” he said.

While there were no exact estimates of how many farmers were hurt in Tuesday’s violence, the Delhi Police has said 394 of its personnel were injured.

Thirty police vehicles and 428 barricades were damaged in the violence, the police said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Delhi Police Commissioner S N Srivastava said at a press conference here that 25 criminal cases have been registered and 19 people arrested so far.

No culprit will be spared, he said.

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