Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait on Tuesday said that the farmers’ agitation against the three agricultural laws will not end before October, ANI reported.
“Our slogan is ‘kanoon wapsi nahi, to ghar wapsi nahi’ [no returning home till the farm laws are repealed],” the farmer leader was quoted as saying by the news agency. “This agitation will not conclude before October, it will not end anytime soon.”
Tikait’s comment came as the police clamped down on farmers’ protest sites in the aftermath of the violence during the Republic Day tractor rally. Barricades and barbed wires were seen at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border at Ghazipur.
At Singhu border, another prominent protest site, the police used concrete barriers to block farmers. They also got iron rods hooked between two rows of cement barriers on a flank of the main highway.
At the Tikri border, the authorities installed spikes and constructed a three-foot-high concrete wall on the highway at the Jharoda border, leading to Najafgarh.
The Centre has also extended the ban on internet services near the Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri borders till Tuesday night.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body representing 40 farmers groups, said there could be no discussion with the government until the police stopped harassing the protestors.
“Increased barricading including trench-digging, fixing nails on the roads, barbed wire fencing, closing off of even internal roads, stopping of internet services, orchestrating protests and facilitating the same through BJP-RSS workers, diversion of trains and stopping them before destination stations etc., are all part of multiple attacks being organised by the government, its police and administration against the protesting farmers,” the organisation said in a statement.
On Monday, the protesting farmers had announced that they will block roads across the country for three hours on February 6.
The farmers had scrapped plans for their march to the Parliament on Budget day in view of the violence at their Republic Day tractor rally. The Delhi Police have so far filed 44 cases and arrested 122 people in connection with the violence.
The farmers’ tractor rally on Republic Day turned chaotic after a section of protestors deviated from the routes agreed to with the Delhi Police. One protestor was killed in the clashes. Prominent farmer unions and leaders distanced themselves from the violence, and blamed it on certain “anti social elements”. However, several farmer leaders were named in FIRs related to the violence.
After the violence, farmers camping at Ghazipur were given an ultimatum by the administration to clear the site. However, Tikait tearfully declared that he would rather die by suicide than end the agitation. His emotional message resonated with the protestors, who made an about-turn to return to the site in huge numbers.