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Agencies received intel alert on Red Fort violence

By Ankur Sharma
January 28, 2021 12:40 IST
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While political voices have been raised against intelligence failure on January 26, according to sources the first high-level coordination meeting chaired by the Special Director Intelligence Bureau in the first week of January, intentions of banned organisation Sikhs for Justice of hoisting Khalistani flag at Red Fort were briefed and counter arrangements were discussed with all stakeholders.

IMAGE: Farmers hoist flags at the Red Fort during the 'Kisan Gantantra Parade' amid the 72nd Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi. Photograph: PTI Photo

The meeting was attended by eight top Delhi police officers, 12 top officers of IB apart from senior officers from R&AW, SPG, Haryana Police.

The secessionist outfit SFJ, formed in 2007, is a United States-based group seeking a separate homeland for Sikhs -- a "Khalistan" in Punjab.

The SFJ had earlier announced an increase in the reward from USD 250,000 for waving Khalistani flags at the Red Fort on Republic Day to USD 350,000 for unfurling the flags at the Indian Parliament on February 1.

However, a day after violence in Delhi during the tractor march, the farmers' unions protesting against farm laws have postponed their proposed march to parliament on February 1.

Sources claimed that in the meeting, it was also discussed to close the Red fort from 20th January to 27th January and a clarification was sought from the Delhi Police.

"Due to the iconic status of Red Fort, it will be prudent to exercise caution and mentioning of past SFJ's plan to hoist Khalistani flag at Red Fort," an official communication said.

 

Security agencies were asked to secure buildings of historical and national importance in Delhi to thwart 'any misadventure' by radical Sikhs and SFJ.

The meeting, whose minutes was also shared with all chiefs of R&AW, SPG, Police heads of UP, Haryana, Delhi, also had a long discussion on the plan and strategy of the SFJ and radicalised Sikh groups.

"Officials in the meeting had also said that Sikhs observe Republic Day as a "Black Day" every year and this year a number of leaders from these organisations are at the site of the ongoing farmers' agitation. The SFJ is offering monetary incentives in pursuance of the same. The farmers at the protest site along the Delhi border are also being proffered financial assistance by the radical Sikhs," a top official told ANI.

Interestingly, on 26th January, around 12 noon, another input was shared that farmers protesting with tractors were likely to move towards the PM's residence, Home Minister's House, Rajpath, India Gate and Red Fort as well. This message was sent to all officers who were on ground maintaining law and order situation in Delhi.

Nineteen people have been so far arrested and over 25 criminal cases registered by Delhi Police in connection with the violence that broke out during the farmers' tractor march on Tuesday, Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava had said on Wednesday.

Delhi Police has named Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu and gangster Lakka Sadana in an FIR registered in connection with the violence at the historic monument on January 26.

Protesters broke barricades to enter Delhi and indulged in vandalism across several parts of the national capital during their tractor rally organised to protest against the Centre's three new farm laws.

Several public and private properties were damaged in acts of vandalism by the protesters. A total of 22 FIRs have been filed by the Delhi Police with one of them mentioning the incident at ITO where a farmer died after his tractor overturned.

Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws - Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

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Ankur Sharma
Source: ANI
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