Punjab announces Rs 2 lakh compensation for farmers arrested after Republic Day rally

Thousands of farmers had taken out the rally to demand that the three agricultural laws, which they fear will usher in corporate dominance in farming, be repealed. Photo: Meer Faisal/Maktoob

The Punjab government will provide Rs 2 lakh as compensation to 83 people who were arrested after carrying out a farmers’ tractor rally against Narendra Modi government’s three farm laws in Delhi on Republic Day, Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi said on Friday.

“Reiterating my govt’s stand to support the ongoing farmers protest against three black farm laws, We have decided to give Rs 2 lakh compensation to 83 people arrested by Delhi Police for carrying out a tractor rally in the national capital on 26th January, 2021,” CM tweeted.

Thousands of farmers had taken out the rally to demand that the three agricultural laws, which they fear will usher in corporate dominance in farming, be repealed.

A section of protestors had broken through barricades put up in Delhi and clashed with police officers, who tried to push them back with tear gas and batons.

Dozens of shells were fired at protesting farmers who entered national capital after getting approval from Delhi Police, protesters earlier told Maktoob.

Navneet Singh, a farmer in his 30s, who was on one of the tractors, was hit by a tear gas shell on his head and killed on that day.

Eyewitnesses told Maktoob that police bullet had hit Navneet while he was driving a tractor.

The police registered several cases after the incident. The FIRs were filed against farmer leaders and journalists also, and hundreds of protestors were arrested.

During the rally, a group of farmers forced its way into the Red Fort. Some of the protestors climbed on top of the fort to unfurl Sikh flags. After the Red Fort incident, the Delhi Police had registered a case under the draconia UAPA and invoked sedition charges against the accused persons. The police even claimed in their chargesheet in May that the the Red Fort incident was a “deep-rooted conspiracy”.

The farmers under a dozen unions mainly in Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting at Delhi’s border entry points for nearly a year now to push for the withdrawal of the laws.