Farmers’ Protest: 7 Months on, Tikait Says ‘Big Revolution Ahead’
The farmers are observing “Kheti Bachao, Loktantra Bachao Diwas” (Save Agriculture, Save Democracy Day).
As the protests against the three controversial farm laws, which began in 2020, complete seven months, the farmers' body decided to march towards the Raj Bhavans in different states on Saturday, 26 June. Following this, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait said they have decided to strengthen the movement and will be holding two more rallies.
"In today's (Saturday) meeting, we have decided to strengthen our movement. We have decided to hold two more rallies, a tractor rally will be held on 9 July, in which people from Shamli and Bhagpat will be present, it will reach Singhu border on 10 July," Rakesh Tikait said.
The farmer leader from Uttar Pradesh also warned that the movement still has a long way to go as "Delhi doesn't fall in line without tractors".
“Either send farmers who have been arrested to Tihar Jail or make them meet the Governor. We will further decide on the next course of our action as Delhi doesn’t fall in line without tractors. The fight against these new laws will shape a big revolution.”Rakesh Tikait
Farmers Allege Tikait Arrested; Cops Call It 'Fake News'
The Kisan Ekta Morcha on Saturday took to Twitter to state that Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait had been arrested in Delhi. However, minutes later, the Delhi Police countered the claim, calling it 'fake news'.
"Fake news! News related to arrest of Rakesh Tikait is incorrect. Pl stay away from such fake news/tweets. Action will be taken for spreading such false news/tweets (sic)," read a post from the DCP East Delhi in response to the post by the official protest handle.
In the view of security reasons, "three Metro stations of Yellow Line namely, Vishwavidyalaya, Civil Lines and Vidhan Sabha will remain closed for the public from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm on Saturday,” the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said in a statement.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) has appealed to farmers across the country to submit memorandums addressed to the president to their respective governors.
The farmers are observing “Kheti Bachao, Loktantra Bachao Diwas” (Save Agriculture, Save Democracy Day) on 26 June.
‘Farmers’ Unions Should End Their Agitation’
Meanwhile, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said in a tweet, “I want to tell all the farmers’ union people that they should end their agitation.”
Tomar, who chaired 11 inconclusive rounds of talks with the farmers, claimed that “the Government of India has worked to increase the MSP (minimum support price)” and that it is also ready to discuss and redress any provision of the laws.
Farmers Push Barricades in Haryana
A large number of farmers in Panchkula marched towards the governor's residence in Chandigarh to submit a memorandum seeking repeal of the farm laws.
Responding to the protest, Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij told news agency ANI, "Farmers are sitting at the borders for eight months now. They're disappointed. So, to keep their agitation alive, their leaders make a new program everyday. Today, they've spoken about submitting a memorandum at Raj Bhawan. This keeps happening."
The farmer unions have said that thousands from Saharanpur and Sisauli have reached the Ghazipur Gate led by BKU chief Rakesh Tikait. Farmers were also seen on tractors, ready for Saturday’s rally.
Meanwhile, Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union on Friday announced that it will start a three-day dharna in Patiala, the hometown of CM Amarinder Singh, from 9 August, if the issues related to farm laws are not resolved by then.
Farmers' Protest May Be Sabotaged By Pakistan's ISI: Intel Report
The ongoing farmers' protest is likely to be sabotaged by Pakistan-based Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), reported news agency ANI on Saturday, citing alerts issued by intelligence agencies.
According to the report, officials have alerted the Delhi Police and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) regarding the potential threat to the farmers' stir.
The officials from central agencies have reportedly sent a letter to the police and the central armed forces, warning that ISI proxies based in Pakistan may try to sabotage the farmers' movement by instigating security personnel deployed at the site, ANI reported.
Delhi Police and paramilitary forces have been deployed to tighten security measures and maintain law and order in Delhi. “Additional manpower will also be deployed outside metro stations,” the police said.
Delhi Police Commissioner SN Srivastava said, “The event (farmers' call to give a memorandum to LG) is running smoothly. Some people from the border and other places of Delhi came to meet the LG and we allowed them. Nothing happened today, but we're always prepared. Everything is under control,” ANI reported.
(With inputs from ANI and The Indian Express)
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