Arrest threat looms large over BKU leader Rakesh Tikait during his Madhya Pradesh visit

BHOPAL: The leading face of the farmers’ agitation, Rakesh Tikait, will be addressing Kisan Mahapanchayats in Rewa, Sheopur and Jabalpur. He is here to gain the support of farmers from Madhya Pradesh.

Amid the news of Tikait addressing farmers’ rallies, some organisations have reminded the district administration and government about the pending arrest warrant against Tikait. The warrant was issued on charges of rioting and attempt to murder. It was issued in 2011 after Tikait led a protest against a power plant at Jaithari, in Anuppur district. The protest had turned violent, after which several police vehicles were torched, leaving many policemen injured.

After the incident, more than 100 people, including Tikait, were arrested under Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with armed weapons), 149 (unlawful assembly) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC.

The state government has all the updates related to the farmers’ agitation — programmes of prominent farm leaders, including spokesperson of the Bhartiya Kisan Union in Madhya Pradesh.

State convener of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) Anil Yadav said that any attempt to thwart any of the programmes would provoke the farmers. “We won’t sit quietly. Our leader isn’t visiting Madhya Pradesh for the first time after the incident. His arrest will provoke the farmers, after which it will be difficult to control them,” said Yadav.

Yadav said that Tikait would address three rallies. He will visit Sheopur on March 8, Rewa on 14 and Jabalpur on March 15. The dates for his next visit have not been decided, but his tour programme includes Dewas, Ujjain and Bhopal.

The Congress, along with other non-BJP parties, has started a campaign to make farmers aware of the impact of the new farm laws. Prominent farm leaders have been visiting Madhya Pradesh to strengthen the movement here.

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