Nagpur, Feb 19 (PTI) Even as the district administration in Maharashtra's Yavatmal has denied permission to the February 20 'Maha Panchayat' of farmer leader Rakesh Tikait due to rising COVID-19 cases, its organiser — Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) — on Friday said it is firm on holding the public meeting there.
The SKM said that if Tikait and other leaders are stopped in Yavatmal, then a sit-in protest would be held.
The administration in Yavatmal district on Thursday ordered curbs on gatherings and also closure of schools (which had reopened for select classes) for ten days in view of the rising cases of coronavirus.
Tikait, one of the leaders of farmers' agitation against the new farm laws on Delhi borders, was scheduled to address the rally at Azad Maidan ground in Yavatmal city on Saturday. However, the district administration had denied permission for it.
The organisers said that they have submitted a fresh application to the administration seeking its permission for the public meeting. However, response to it is still awaited.
Talking to PTI, SKM's Maharashtra co-ordinator Sandip Gidde said, 'We are firm on holding the Maha Panchayat in Yavatmal tomorrow. Rakesh Tikait along with several other leaders of the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha will address the public meeting. He will arrive in Nagpur tonight and will address the event at Yavatmal tomorrow.' 'But, if Tikait and other leaders are stopped, we will hold a 'thiyya andolan' (sit-in) at the very place where they are stopped,' he said.
The SKM is an umbrella body of farmer unions which is spearheading the protest on Delhi borders. PTI