The police in Madhya Pradesh’s Betul district on Tuesday registered a first information report against a farmer leader for allegedly threatening to blow up the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh headquarters in Nagpur along with its chief Mohan Bhagwat, the Hindustan Times reported.

The case was registered at Kotwali police station in Betul city against Arun Bankar, the secretary of the Maharashtra State Kisan Mahasabha, under sections 506 (criminal intimidation) and 505 (2) (statements conducting to public mischief and with an intention to incite public).

Kotwali police station in-charge Santosh Pandre said that Bankar made the remarks during a rally held in Betul when farmers were travelling from Nagpur to Delhi to join the protests against the farm laws. “Farmer leader Arun Bankar paid tributes at Shaheed Kisan Stambh at Multai in the district on Monday and also addressed the farmers,” Pandre said. “In his speech, Bankar said if Prime Minister Narendra Modi will fire gunshots on farmers, we will blow up RSS headquarters in Nagpur with the RSS chief in it.” He added that the police were investigating the matter.

Bharatiya Janata Party’s Betul district President Aaditya Babla Shukla, who filed the complaint, demanded the immediate arrest of the farmer leader. “Arun Bankar is trying to disturb the peace and harmony in society by inciting [the] public,” he said. The police have not made any arrest yet.

The BJP leader also pointed out that the talks between the farmers’ union and the Centre were taking place in a peaceful atmosphere, according to IANS. “Only such a farmer leader is spoiling the atmosphere, openly threatening to kill Mohan Bhagwat and bomb the RSS office,” he said. “Also such farmer organisations must be investigated to ascertain where they are receiving explosives and bombs from.”

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Farm laws

Tens of thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been camping out on roads around Delhi for 40 days now, braving the cold and continuous rain over the last few days. They insist that the government withdraw the laws and guarantee a minimum support price for their produce.

The farmers fear the agricultural reforms will weaken the minimum support price mechanism under which the government buys agricultural produce, will lead to the deregulation of crop-pricing, deny them fair remuneration for their produce and leave them at the mercy of corporations.

The government, on the other hand, maintains that the new laws will give farmers more options in selling their produce, lead to better pricing, and free them from unfair monopolies. The law passed in September are meant to overhaul antiquated procurement procedures and open up the market, the government has claimed.