Govt has time till Oct 2, won’t return home till demands are met, says Rakesh Tikait as Chakka Jam ends
Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait on Saturday said the protesters demanding the rollback of the contentious agri-marketing laws on Delhi’s outskirts will stay put till October 2
Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait on Saturday said the protesters demanding the rollback of the contentious agri-marketing laws on Delhi's outskirts will stay put till October 2.
"We have given time to the government till October 2 to repeal the laws. After this, we will do further planning. We won't hold discussions with the government under pressure," Rakesh Tikait said, addressing farmers gathered at Ghazipur protest site.
Tikait, the national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) is camping with his supporters on a stretch of the Delhi-Meerut highway since November.
Interacting with the press, he claimed a few inputs had been received regarding some miscreants trying to disrupt peace during the chakka jam that was announced for 12 noon to 3 pm on Saturday.
Because of these inputs, we had decided to call off the chakka jam' in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the 51-year-old Tikait, credited with reviving the farmers' stir, said.
Amid a stringent security set up installed around the Ghazipur protest site, the farmer leader, flanked by his supporters, also interacted with Delhi Police officials.
Nobody can touch the farmlands, the farmers will protect it. Both farmers and soldiers should come forward for it, Tikait said.
Interacting with security personnel who were on the other side of the barricading, he said, bowing his head and folded hands, My pranaam (a respectful salutation) to you all. Now you all will protect my farms.
Earlier, the BKU leader planted flowers at the very place the government had fixed nails to stop the farmers.
Besides Ghazipur, thousands of farmers are encamping at Tikri and Singhu border points of Delhi since November with a demand that the Centre repeal the three contentious agri-marketing laws, saying these would hurt their livelihoods.
Farmers across the country held protests and chakka jams.
Thousands of peasants, workers, tribals, political and social activists, including many women, took to the roads and highways across Maharashtra as part of the nationwide 'Chakka Jaam' agitation to demand scrapping of the three farm laws and express solidarity with the farmers' protests in Delhi.
Activists blocked prominent roads, state or national highways and other important thoroughfares in 34 of the state's 36 districts - including Mumbai and excluding Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg - squatted and halted traffic, waved banners and placards, shouted slogans and sang devotional or patriotic songs, amid tight police security, according to Samyukta Kisan Morcha spokesperson P. S. Prasad.
Several farmers, Dalit activists and Left supporters were detained across Karnataka on Saturday while taking part in the nationwide 'chakka jam' called by farmers' organisations in New Delhi.
Traffic across the state was not affected but as this was a weekend and several people knew about this agitation in advance, it did not affect normal life much and that too it was called between 12 to 3 p.m. Several agitating farmers in Bengaluru's northern suburb of Yelahanka were detained for blocking the highway for over two hours.
Police also detained several farmer leaders including Kuruburu Shantakumar and protesting farmers to clear the traffic.
In Hyderabad, farmers protesting against the Centre's new agricultural legislations took out a bullock cart rally on the call given by the farmers' unions for a nationwide "chakka jam". The rally on the Hayathnagar national highway saw the participation of the Congress, CPI and CPI(M) workers and several other activists, carrying the Tricolour and blaring out revolutionary songs.
Farmers in Rajasthan blocked many national and state highways for three hours from 12pm to 3 pm, demanding the withdrawal of three farm laws and protesting against the internet ban near their protest sites and alleged harassment by authorities, among other issues.
The protests started around 12 noon. In Jaipur, tractors were placed on roads to jam the traffic while in Alwar, stones and thorny shrubs were placed on roads to check the traffic on roads. In Kota, a massive tractor rally was taken out.
Farmers in Punjab and Haryana put up road blockades at national and state highways at most of the places as part of a nationwide 'chakka jam' in protest against the three farm laws and demanded these be withdrawn, causing inconvenience to commuters.
Emergency and essential services like ambulance and school bus will not be stopped, said the protesters. There was no report of violence from anywhere in both the state.
Heavy police presence was seen at various places in Haryana and Punjab to maintain law and order in view of the protest by the farmers.
With agency inputs