Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait has been booked by the Karnataka police for provoking farmers during a Mahapanchayat in Shivamogga March 20 to lay siege to Bengaluru similar to what was done in Delhi. A case has reportedly been filed against Tikait at Kote police station under section 153 (wantonly giving provocation with the intent to cause riot) of the Indian Penal Code.
“An FIR was filed against Rakesh Tikait for giving a speech that could have incited violence in the state and was filed by Shivamogga police”, Shekhar HT, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Shivamogga said. Urging the farmers to intensify the agitation against the three farm laws enacted by the central government last year, Tikait asked farmers to ‘make a Delhi in Bengaluru’. “You have to make a Delhi in Bengaluru…and surround the city from all directions”, he said during the Mahapanchayat in Shivamogga. However, the organisers of the Mahapanchayat termed it an act against the principles of democracy. The organisers alleged that the BJP is suppressing the voices against the Centre.
Protestors mainly from Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh have been agitating against the three farm laws at three Delhi border points- Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur- for more than three months. They have been demanding repeal of the farm laws. Several rounds of talks between the central government and the ‘representatives’ of the ‘farmers’ have ended in deadlock with ‘farmer representatives’ being adamant on getting the laws repealed.
Delhi was engulfed in riots following a tractor rally by ‘farmers’ on Republic Day
In January, the ‘farmer representatives’ had called for a tractor rally on Republic Day to intensify the protest against the three farm laws. Despite the ‘farmer representatives’ agreeing to restrict the tractor rally to the routes approved by the police, the protestors in the rally broke barricades and entered the national capital. What followed was an unprecedented situation. The protestors barged into the red fort, insulted the tricolour hoisted religious flags atop it. Armed protestors unleashing violence on the streets of Delhi clashed with police personnel who were trying to stop them. Nearly 400 police personnel injured in the clashes with some of them being admitted to the ICU.
Several FIRs have been registered by the police in connection with the Republic Day violence and many persons have been arrested including Khalisant supporter and actor-turned activist Deep Siddhu.