For the last 3 months, I’ve been covering the farmer’s protest and updating the information on YouTube. Farmers announced that they would take out a tractor rally on 26 January, 2021, Republic Day. Farm leaders told the media that more than one lakh tractors would be participating in the rally.
Finally, 26 January came and I prepared to cover the historic event. I headed towards India gate first because the parade was going on at Raj Path and I got the information that the farmers would gather at India gate. But when I reached there, I couldn’t find a single farmer.
Then I took out my phone and started scrolling Instagram. Brut India posted that some farmers were heading towards Lal Qila and I immediately went to Lal Qila and found some farmers with their tractors. Some were very happy, but I felt that I was missing something and I was right.
I saw behind me hundreds of people trying to climb the flag post. They hoisted the Kisaan Ekta and Nishan Sahib flags on the Lal Qila. In this whole rush, unfortunately, I couldn’t record anything, but I saw some elderly farmers standing downstairs and shouting, “Are ye kya kr diya? Mt kro mt kro, utaro use, neeche ajao (What have you done? Don’t do this, come down).”
I then decided to go to UP Gate via ITO and on my way, I saw lots of police barricades and DTC buses used as barricades, farmers with tractors breaking the barricades and trying to get inside. When I reached Ghazipur border the first news I heard from farmers was a person named Navreet Singh who was driving a tractor was allegedly shot dead by the Delhi police. I met Rakesh Tikait, the BKU Leader and asked a few questions about the incident but he refused to comment, but I got a chance to talk to some other farmers from different parts of UP.
What I saw on 26 January was just 5–10% of the rally, but afterwards, I realised that in other parts of Delhi, farmers took out peaceful rallies.