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Bring photos of family members serving in Indian Forces to the protests: Rakesh Tikait, BKU leader

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
Rakesh Tikait

Bhartiya Kisan Union chief Rakesh Tikait, who, through his effective leadership, has been the emblem of farmers' agitation, has made a new request to demonstrators to counteract the steps taken by government authorities. Reportedly, he requested farmers with family and friends serving in the defence and police forces to come with photos of their families at the protest sites. 

The government must respond to all of us, else families of people serving in the armed forces and police will arrive here at the coming protest gathering, their families will stand with their photographs," Tikait said. A 3 hour nationwide 'chakka jam' was witnessed by the opposing farmers on Saturday in the midst of strong police mobilization at key positions to prevent any aggression close to Republic Day. 

The justification for the appeal of Tikait, the report states, is the publication of legal notifications against the three agricultural legislation. A prominent BKU leader added, "We will have to see if officials on directives of the government issue statutory notices to the relatives of those serving in defence forces and police. A huge segment of farmers has their relatives working in the police and armed forces." 

Another senior BKU chief, Dharmendra Malik, stated, "We are bringing people who have their relatives serving in the armed services and the police to arrive and demonstrate their appreciation for the farmers' protests at the Ghazipur border. These people are going to take pictures of their brothers in arms serving the country. In addition to showing unity with all the Servicemen, the move is designed to make the central and state governments understand that they cannot censor the voice of peasants by issuing legal notices." 

Tikait also threatened: "The government should consider with positive intentions. Either they abolish the three farm laws and introduce a law guaranteeing MSP for farmers, else we have many other intends to expand the protest. We will go on a nationwide trip and nonpolitical demonstrations will unfold in all the states." 

The moral appeal of the chief of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) lately resurrected an agitation that was losing steam after the aggression in Delhi on January 26. After Haryana's Tikait speech tractors began moving towards Ghazipur, farmers formed a Mahapanchayat in Uttar Pradesh and voiced their support for the chief. 

Once upon a time, the BKU national spokesman was also part of the police department. During the 1993 farmers' protest led by his father, Mahendra Singh Tikait, he served briefly the Delhi police as a constable and resigned. One of the country's top farmer leaders and BKU president is now remembered as the man who brought Delhi to a halt at the boat club for 7 days in October 1988. The campaign was joined by over 5 lakh farmers. 

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