Tohana (Haryana), Jun 6 (PTI) A large number of farmers led by BKU leader Rakesh Tikait stayed put outside Sadar police station in Fatehabad here on Sunday demanding the release of two farmers who were arrested for allegedly trying to gherao JJP MLA Devendra Singh Babli's residence last week.
The protesters also sought the withdrawal of the criminal case against the arrested farmers.
An FIR was registered against a group of farmers for allegedly trying to gherao Babli's residence here on Wednesday night. Two farmers, Vikas Sisar and Ravi Azad, were arrested in connection with the incident. They were booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
Sisar and Azad have applied for bail in a local court and their plea will be heard on Monday, according to their counsel.
Led by Tikait, the protesting farmers held talks with police officials and demanded that the case against Sisar and Azad be withdrawn.
Tikait and some other farmer leaders assembled at the grain market here on Saturday night and marched towards the police station.
Addressing the gathering outside the police station, Tikait said the protesting farmers will not budge till their fellow farmers are released.
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader also said the agitation against the Centre's farm legislations will continue till the government repeals them and enacts a law on minimum support price.
Tikait alleged the Centre wants to shift the central point of the farmers' agitation from Delhi's borders to Haryana's Rohtak-Jind belt.
This 'ploy' will not be allowed to succeed, he said.
Earlier, the protesters had also sought the registration of a case against Babli for allegedly hurling abuses at them.
Later, the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) MLA expressed regret over uttering 'inappropriate' words against farmers.
Addressing the protesting farmers, senior Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) leader Yogendra Yadav called for a four-hour sit-in outside police stations across Haryana on Monday.
He said Babli has not lodged any complaint against Sisar and Azad but the state government is not ready to withdraw the case against them.
A group of women also sang songs highlighting the plight of farmers.
They criticised the Centre and the Haryana government over the farmers' issue. They also slammed Deputy Chief Minister and JJP leader Dushyant Chautala for not standing with farmers.
Speaking to reporters in Ambala, Home Minister Anil Vij, when asked about the farmers' demand for the release of their colleagues, said, 'It is up to the courts to release them. How can we do that? They can file their application before the court which will then decide on their plea.' Sisar and Azad applied for bail in a local court.
Their counsel said the court has accepted their plea and will hear it on Monday.
On June 1, Babli faced a protest by a group of farmers who showed him black flags and raised slogans. He had alleged that some of the protesters resorted to unruly behaviour and smashed the windscreen of his SUV.
Farmers, however, accused Babli of using abusive and threatening language.
On Wednesday, farmers had said they would gherao police stations across the state on June 7 if Babli did not tender an apology by June 6. PTI SUN VSD DIV DIV