Gherao Delhi cops if they come to arrest you, Haryana farmer leader tells supporters

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Chandigarh, Feb 19 (PTI) Haryana BKU chief Gurnam Singh Chaduni on Friday asked farmers to `gherao’ Delhi Police personnel if they come to their villages to make an arrest and not let them leave till the district administration assures that they will not be allowed again.

In a veiled reference to Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait, who has been addressing a series of ‘mahapanchayats’ in Punjab and Haryana, Chaduri said there was no need for such events in the two states.

The Haryana BKU leader made the controversial remark, virtually asking people to hold policemen hostage, while referring to the action taken by the Delhi Police after violence during the farmers’ tractor rally in the national capital on Republic Day.

In a video message, Chaduni said if Delhi police personnel conduct raids and come to nab anyone, they should be gheraoed, made to sit there and the entire village and neighbourhood should be informed.

“They should not be left till the district administration assures that the Delhi police won't enter your villages, your districts,” he said.

In another video message, Chaduni discounted the need for holding ‘panchayats’ in Haryana and Punjab, saying the farmers of the two states are already well aware of various issues related to the farm laws of the Centre and they should focus more on protests.

“The agitation is going on smoothly. There is no need for Kisan panchayat in Punjab and Haryana because the awakening here is already quite good. I feel people also don't want this,” he said.

He added that frequent panchayats in Punjab and Haryana also leave farmer leaders from the two states little time to visit other states to awaken the farmers there.

Chaduni himself had addressed some ‘Kisan mahapanchayats’ along with some other prominent farmer leaders including Balbir Singh Rajewal and Dr Darshan Pal.

Yet he urged for holding less of farmers' meet in Punjab and Haryana arguing that farmers of other states needed more of the awakening.

“Our brothers from Haryana and Punjab should focus more on dharna sites and ensure that a set of people from villages remains deputed permanently there,” he said.

About Delhi police action, Chaduni said, “During the incidents related to farmers' tractor rally on Republic Day, many farmers were arrested and many were booked for offences like murder attempts.” 'Many farmers are getting notices from the police and when they go there they are detained. They are sending more notices based on video footages while some are being arrested from homes,' he said.

He asked people to ignore Delhi Police notices and instead gherao policemen if they raid their village to arrest anyone.

He also cautioned people not to hit policemen while holding them hostage.

'I would also like to request that if any Delhi police personnel is gheraoed, no one should raise a hand at them, but they should be taken good care of and offered food. But do not leave them till the district administration reaches the spot.

'We have to take this action because there is no other option to deal with the Delhi police. Such excesses will not be tolerated,' he said.

While Chaduni felt holding farmers' 'mahapanchayats' was not needed, Tikait has addressed several farmers' meet in Haryana during the month with the first one being in Jind, attracting a big turnout and emerging the main face of these events.

Tikait, who is known to wield good influence among farmers in western UP, has also addressed maha panchayats in Kurukshetra, Rohtak and Hisar districts and is scheduled to address another one in Sirsa district next week. It was Tikait's emotional call in the aftermath of the Republic Day violence during farmers' tractor rally that had infused a new lease of life into the agitation.

During his addresses, Tikait has been stressing the “great support” which Haryana 'khaps' or caste councils have lent to the farmers' agitation. PTI SUN RAX RAX