Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait has said that the ‘rail roko’ will be conducted in a peaceful manner and added that refreshments would be offered to commuters stranded during the protest.
“Rail roko will commence at noon and go on till 3-4 pm. It will be done peacefully. Trains are not plying today,” Tikait said on Thursday, continuing, “We will provide water, milk, lassi and fruits to those stranded due to the protest and we will inform them about our issues.
Tikait also said that rallies will be held across the country as farmers are suffering everywhere. “We have two rallies at Hisar today and I am going there. Tomorrow, I will be attending a rally in Mumbai. Farmers are suffering everywhere. We will hold rallies all over the country,” he said, adding that giving legal backing to Minimum Selling Price (MSP) is the only way to solve the problems.
Tikait said that his upcoming visit to West Bengal is not political. “We will talk to farmers. Their crops are not being sold on MSP. We have nothing to do with the (upcoming Assembly) elections,” he said, adding that he is staying away from politics. “Politics is a big disease. I will stay away from it,” he said.
Tikait also condemned the Republic Day violence and said that the BKU has nothing to do with those responsible for the violence. The Republic Day violence saw the death of farmers and over 300 policemen suffered injuries.
The farmers’ unions called for nationwide ‘rail roko’ (blockade of trains) as part of the ongoing farmers’ protests against the farm laws. Farmer leaders have made it clear that the protest will be held in a peaceful manner and refreshments will be given to those stranded due to the protests.
Meanwhile, according to reports, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) has demanded that the Centre should ask the farmers’ problems without delay. In a press release, SKM’s Darshan Pal said, “The SKM took note of a high-level meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with elected party leaders from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan, along with Union ministers such as Amit Shah, Narendra Singh Tomar, Sanjeev Baliyan and others.”
The SKM also pointed out that instead of resolving the farmers’ problems, the central government is “trying its best to counter and destroy it”. SKM added in its statement that it will intensify the struggle and mobilise more farmers in its supports.
Meanwhile, climate activist Disha Ravi has approached the Delhi High Court seeking direction to the Delhi Police against leaking any investigation material including alleged contents of private chats/ communication by the petitioner to any third party, especially the media. Disha has also sought to restrain the media from extracting her chats and publishing them.
The Delhi Police took Disha into custody on the charges of sedition, promoting enmity and criminal conspiracy over her alleged role in the farmers’ protest ‘toolkit’.