Rakesh Tikait, the current spokesperson of the Bharatiya Kisan Union(BKU), has emerged as one of the prominent leaders leading the ‘farmers’ agitation against the three Farm Bills passed by the Centre in September 2020. He had come under the scanner for egging on the protesters to use brute force and violence during the Republic Day rally.
Throughout the six months of protests, his desire to gain political mileage from the continuous farmers’ demonstrations was palpable. Now, another aspect of the BKU leader has come to the fore.
According to a report by Zee News, a woman farmer from Kinauni village located in Shahpur police station limits of the Muzaffarnagar district in Uttar Pradesh, has accused the BKU leader of forcefully encroaching her family’s 3 bighas of land worth lakhs of rupees. She further claimed that Rakesh Tikait and his son Charan Singh, on the night of May 30, used a bulldozer to damage her standing crop.
Sushila Devi and her son Vineet Balyan, speaking about the injustice they have suffered, said they had first appealed to the district administration and requested them to take strict action against Rakesh Tikait.
The victim’s family furthered that even after complaining to the district administration, no legal action has been taken against Rakesh Tikait and his son so far. This compelled Sushila Devi and her son Vineet Balyan to appeal to Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath seeking justice.
Commenting on the BKU leader, Sushila Devi said: “Rakesh Tikait is not a farmer leader but a very big land mafia. They forcibly do this on the lands of small farmers”.
Rakesh Tikait and his history of inciting violence
For the uninitiated, Rakesh Tikait is not only responsible for fomenting the riots that emerged in the national capital on Republic day but was also accused of playing a prominent role in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.
Seven-year ago, Rakesh Tikait was booked for stoking communal disharmony with his allegedly inflammatory speeches which eventually led to the 2013 Muzaffarnagar flare-up. Rakesh had been booked for stoking communal disharmony in the run-up to the 7 September 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.
Rakesh Tikait and his brother Naresh, according to locals of Muzaffarnagar, were both “main criminals” in the town’s grisly communal flare-up. Rakesh was said to have attended the mahapanchayat on September 7, and the police had arrested him for inciting communal enmity with his inflammatory statements.
Tikait later acknowledged to attending the mahapanchayat meeting but refrained from participating in the violence that followed. He said that the crowds were out of control and that no one was paying attention to any leader.