AAP strongly condemns violence in farmers' tractor parade

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New Delhi, Jan 26 (PTI) The Aam Aadmi Party strongly condemned the violence during the farmers' tractor parade in Delhi on Tuesday, blaming the Centre for allowing the situation to deteriorate to such an extent.

In a statement, the AAP said the violence had 'certainly weakened' the movement, which was going on peacefully and a disciplined manner.

'We strongly condemn the violence seen in today's protest. It is regrettable that the Central govt allowed the situation to deteriorate to such an extent. The movement has been peaceful for the last two months,' it said.

'Farmer leaders have said that those who indulged in violence today were not part of the movement and were external elements. Whoever they were, the violence has certainly weakened the movement which was going on so peacefully and in a disciplined manner,' it said.

Wielding sticks and clubs and holding the tricolour and union flags, tens of thousands of farmers atop tractors broke barriers, clashed with police and entered the city from various points to lay siege to the Red Fort and climb the flagpole on Republic Day on Tuesday.

While farmer leaders, who have been spearheading the two-month protest at the national capital’s border points to demand a repeal of the farm laws, disowned the protesters, one young man was seen hoisting a yellow triangular flag at the flagpole - the centrepiece of the country’s Independence Day celebrations.

The protesters were later removed from the premises of the Red Fort.

Eclipsing the annual show of military might at Rajpath, the farmers who were supposed to take out a tractor parade on pre-decided routes after the Republic Day event was over breached both conditions. Clashes and lathi-charges broke out in many places between a section of the protesters, many of them young, vocal and aggressive, and police personnel. PTI UZM HMB