Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait and several farmers continued with their demonstration in the Fatehabad district of Haryana on Sunday, demanding the release of their fellow protesters. Speaking to news agency ANI, Tikait said that the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) legislator Devendra S Babli has withdrawn his case against the arrested farmers, then “why they are not releasing them.”
“We have asked them (police) to either release those arrested or arrest us too,” ANI quoted Tikait as saying. “Today we will talk again (with police). We will hold this dharna till our fellow farmers are released. Our demand is that if the police cannot release our comrades, then arrest us too,” Tikait also said.
Ravi Azad and Vikas Sisar were arrested on June 1 following their demonstration against the JJP leader Devendra S Babli. During the protest, the farmers gheraoed Babli and shouted slogans against him and showed him black flags. Later, the member of the legislative assembly (MLA) filed a first information report (FIR) alleging that some of the protesters resorted to unruly behaviour and vandalised his car.
Following this, farmers also demanded an FIR against Babli for allegedly using abusive language against the farmers and threatening them during the spat.
On Saturday, the JJP leader released a video and apologised for his comments. “I forgive those involved in the June 1 incident and apologise for my comments at the time,” he said. Babli also said that he would withdraw the cases filed against Azad and Sisar.
Till late on Saturday, discussions between farmer leaders and police officers were ongoing when all the farmers’ leaders camped outside the Tohana Sadar police station. Following this, additional security has to be deployed as a controlling measure.
Meanwhile, farmers from Punjab started gathering at Shambhu border and will move for Singhu border in their vehicles as the protests against three agricultural laws continue for over six months now.