NEW DELHI: The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi failed to stop protesting farmers despite police crackdown who entered the historic Red Fort complex in the capital and hoisted their flags.
It was earlier reported that the Khalistan flag was hoisted atop the Red Fort. However, upon investigation, it was found to be the ‘Nishan Sahib’, which bears a close visual similarity to the Khalistan flag but has a very different symbolic meaning
Indian actor and activist, Deep Sidhu, who has been protesting for farmers’ rights, posted a video on Facebook, clarifying that only the Nishan Sahib was hoisted on the fort.
“We have only hoisted the Nishan Sahib flag on the Red Fort while exercising our democratic right to protest.”
He said that in such protests, people become angry and that no one person can be blamed for committing an act of furty. He said that flag was hoisted as a sign of “unity in diversity”.
Growers, angered by laws they say help large, private buyers at the expense of producers, have camped outside New Delhi for almost two months, posing one of the biggest challenges to Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he came to power in 2014.
There were no confirmed casualties but Tuesday’s disorderly scenes and lingering swirls of gas on the outskirts offered a sharp contrast with televised images of the serried precision of marchers in the city centre’s annual military parade.
Reuters television images showed thousands of farmers converging on the Red Fort, a historic spot from whose ramparts Modi delivers an annual speech, and milling about its walls.
“Modi will hear us now, he will have to hear us now,” said Sukhdev Singh, 55, a farmer from the northern state of Punjab, who was among hundreds of protesters, some on horseback, who broke away from the main route of a tractor protest.