Is Tikait upset that cops did not shoot protestors on Republic Day?

Baldev Singh
·5 min read

Rakesh Tikait, the national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, on Thursday questioned the Delhi Police for not firing at the rioting farmers who stormed the Red Fort and hoisted a religious flag there.

“Someone goes there and hoists a flag. Why was no firing done? Where was the police? How did he go there? Police allowed him to leave and didn't arrest him. Nothing has been done even now. Who was the person who maligned an entire community & organisation?” Tikait questioned, referring to actor Deep Sidhu, one of the main perpetrators of the violence in Delhi.

He claimed that the Delhi Police had deliberately let Deep Sidhu and his supporters enter the Red Fort complex and hoist a flag so the protests could be maligned, adding that the violence that occurred on 26th January was a conspiracy to malign the farmer unions and distance Punjab from the rest of the country.

Twitterati, however, slammed the farmer leader, who has been making inflammatory speeches, saying that Tikait seems upset that the police did not kill anyone. Many on Twitter questioned Tikait’s motives and asked if the violence was pre-planned to provoke the police so that they fire at the farmers.

Even when the tractor rally was announced to be held on January 26, news reports had expressed fears that a Jallianwala Bagh-type massacre might take place if things went out of control.

However, the Delhi police showed commendable restraint and did not take any harsh measures against those protesting.

Claiming that the violent tractor rally held by farmers on Republic Day in Delhi on Tuesday was ‘successful’, he slammed the Delhi Police for not shooting at the vandals.

“If there was any incident that took place, the Delhi Police is responsible for it. How is it that just about anybody can storm the Red Fort and the police doesn’t even fire a single bullet? This was just a conspiracy to malign the farmers’ unions. The farmers’ agitation will continue,” he said.

Earlier on Thursday, the Delhi Police issued notice to Rakesh Tikait asking him to explain as to why legal action should not be taken against him for breaching the agreement with police regarding the tractor rally on January 26.

The Delhi Police put up a notice outside Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait's tent at Ghazipur border. The notice said: "You are also directed to provide names of the perpetrators of such violent acts belonging to your organisation. You are directed to submit your response within 3 days."

Reacting to the move, Tikait said: “I'll read the notice, they've given me 3-days time to reply. Farmers came here as a responsibility of farmer unions and they take that responsibility. We had photographed the route given to us in writing. Police barricaded it and kept the route to Delhi free.”

Continuing with his threats, Rakesh Tikait said that farmers will head to the local police stations around Ghazipur border if the electricity is cut in the area, and warned that the onus of what happens next would lie on the government.

The Delhi Police has issued lookout notices against farmer leaders who have been named in an FIR filed in connection with the violence that broke out during the farmers' tractor parade in the city on Republic Day.

A lookout notice is issued to prevent an accused from leaving the country.

Police have named 37 farmer leaders, including Rakesh Tikait, Yogendra Yadav and Medha Patkar, in the FIR that mentioned charges of attempt to murder, rioting and criminal conspiracy.

Other farmer leaders who have been named in the FIR are Darshan Pal, Gurnam Singh Chanduni, Kulwant Singh Sandhu, Satnam Singh Pannu, Joginder Singh Ugraha, Surjeet Singh Phool, Jagjeet Singh Dalewal, Balbir Singh Rajewal and Harinder Singh Lakhoval.

Those found guilty would be punished strictly, a Delhi Police official said.