Tikait leads sit-in at Haryana police station for release of farmers

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Tohana (Haryana), June 6 (PTI) A large number of farmers led by Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait continued their sit-in at Sadar police station in Fatehabad here on Sunday demanding the release of two farmers.

An FIR was registered after the farmers tried to gherao Jananayak Janata Party MLA Devendra Singh Babli's residence here on Wednesday night.

Vikas and Ravi Azad were arrested by the police in connection with the incident.

Addressing a gathering outside the police station on Sunday, Tikait said the protesting farmers will not move from here till the time the fellow farmers are released.

'We are ready for court arrest. We have been telling the police to either arrest us also or release them,” the BKU leader said.

The protesting farmers had earlier also sought the registration of a case against Babli for allegedly hurling abuses at them.

Babli later expressed regret for uttering 'inappropriate' words against farmers.

Tikait, along with some other farmer leaders, had assembled at the grain market here on Saturday night and then marched towards the police station.

Talking to the media outside the Sadar police station on Saturday, Yogendra Yadav, senior leader of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, which is spearheading the farmers' agitation against the farm laws, said the issue of release of two farmers has not been resolved yet.

'There is a deadlock in talks between us and the police administration,' he had said.

Yadav said Babli had not lodged any complaint against Vikas and Ravi Azad who had been arrested by the police.

But the government was not ready to withdraw the case against them, he added.

On Sunday, a group of women in Tikait's presence also sang songs highlighting the plight of the farmers.

They took a dig at the Centre and Haryana government on the farmers' issue, and slammed Deputy Chief Minister and JJP leader Dushyant Chautala for not standing with the farmers.

Tikait said their agitation against the farm laws would continue till the government repeals the farm laws and enacts a law on minimum support price (MSP).

The BKU leader reiterated that the government wants to shift the farmers' agitation centre point from Delhi borders to Haryana's Rohtak-Jind belt, a 'ploy' which he said will not be allowed to succeed.

On June 1, Babli had faced a protest by a group of farmers who showed black flags to him and raised slogans. Babli had alleged that some of the protesters resorted to unruly behaviour and smashed the windscreen of his SUV. Farmers, however, accused Babli of publicly using abusive and threatening language.

Protesting farmers had on Wednesday said they would gherao all police stations across the state on June 7 if MLA Babli did not tender an apology by June 6.

Several farmer groups in the state have been opposing the public functions of the BJP-JJP leaders. PTI SUN VSD SNE

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