A farmer from Uttar Pradesh who died in Delhi’s ITO area while participating in Tuesday’s tractor rally that descended into violence and chaos, was not shot as claimed by some of his fellow protesters yesterday, the UP police said today. The 26-year-old man’s post-mortem examination has confirmed that he died from injuries received in a tractor accident, police added.
“The post-mortem report clarifies that he was not shot. He died of the antemortem injuries which he received after his tractor overturned as seen in a viral video,” Avinash Chandra, a senior UP police officer, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
CCTV footage of the incident released yesterday showed the man driving a blue tractor towards police barricades as apparently the rattled security personnel brace for impact. The speeding tractor, in an attempt to break through the cordon, rams the barricades and overturns.
While the Delhi police had said yesterday that he died because of the accident injuries, some protesters had claimed he was shot dead.
The man, identified as Navrit Singh from Rampur, around 180 km from the national capital, had recently returned to his native village from Australia, where his wife is a student. He had joined the farmers’ protest against the three central agriculture laws on Tuesday. “We came together to participate in the parade but never knew it would happen,” a neighbour told news agency PTI.
The tractor rally was called by an umbrella body of 40 farmers’ unions to press for their demand for repeal of the three laws. The rally, as agreed by the unions, was to begin at around 11.30 AM and pass through the outskirts of Delhi. Thousands of farmers on tractors and other vehicles, however, had begun pushing into the national capital through unplanned routes by 8 AM, knocking down barricades and clashing with the police.
The farmers, who had been trying to get to the iconic Red Fort in central Delhi, were stopped by the police at ITO.
By noon, hundreds of the protesters had reached the Red Fort. A protester also hoisted a religious flag at a flagpole on the ramparts of the monument, triggering outrage.
Over 300 personnel were injured in Tuesday’s violence and 22 cases have been registered, police said today.
The farmers’ unions have distanced themselves from the violence and alleged a conspiracy to “torpedo” their peaceful movement.
With inputs from agencies