Thousands of farmers collected near the Delhi – UP border at Ghazipur to attend the mahapanchayat following Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tiktait’s emotional appeal. The farmer protest against the three contentious farm laws which was apparently losing steam post the Republic day violence in Delhi resumed with much vigor.
In an attempt to force the protesting farmers to vacate the Ghazipur border site Uttar Pradesh government had given a verbal ultimatum. However, the government’s move did not bear fruit as Rakesh Tikait’s appeal acted as a catalyst for more protesters to show up at the spot. There was no formal order, however, Ghazipur district magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey had issued a ‘verbal ultimatum’ on Thursday asking the farmers to leave the site. The heavy police force was deployed at the protest site and Section 144 was imposed.
Rakesh Tiktait, who has been named in various FIRs in relation to the Republic day violence, said on Friday that the movement against the three contentious farm laws will continue peacefully. He said, “It took just 40 seconds for the farmers’ movement to resume after the morale was down.”
Following the Republic day violence, the situation was very tense at Ghazipur on Thursday night as huge security forces were deployed and many farmers started to leave. However, a video of Tiktait breaking down while speaking to the news reporters saw farmers returning to the Ghazipur protest site. Many farmers expressed firm determination to continue their protest until the three farm laws are repealed.
Further, some farmers also alleged that the violence during the January 26 tractor rally was instigated by those who wanted to damage the farmers’ movement. One farmer was quoted as saying “The government realized that since we are protesting peacefully, they cannot force us to leave. So the violence has given them the opportunity to evict us.”
Rakesh Tikaithas also demanded an investigation by a Supreme Court-appointed committee into the Republic day violence. He refused to surrender and said that call details of those responsible for the violence should be disclosed in public. He demanded that Deep Sidhu’s connection should also come out in the open before the nation.