Rakesh Tikait asks farmers not to destroy crops as his 'burn crop' warning taken literally
Thousands of farmers are camping at Delhi border points of Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur with a demand that the Centre repeal the three new farm reform laws.
February 22, 2021 / 12:28 PM IST
Rakesh Tikait, a leader of Bharatiya Kisan Union, gestures as he attends a 'Mahapanchayat' as part of a farmers' protest against farm reform laws at Kandela village in Jind district in the northern state of Haryana. (File image: Reuters)
Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait has issued a clarification on his warning that farmers would burn their crops if there was a crackdown on their protest against the three new farm reform laws. This happened after a group of farmers in Haryana's Jind started pulling crops off their fields.
At a ‘mahapanchayat’ in Hisar last week, Tikait said that the Centre should not be under any misconception that farmers would go back for crop harvesting. “If they insisted (cracking down the protest), then we will burn our crops. They should not think that the protest will end in two months. We will harvest as well as protest,” he said according to an NDTV report.
Following his comment, some farmers reportedly escalated the process. According to the report, visuals from Gulkani village showed a group of people pull out their crops by hand, raising slogans of Kisan Ekta (farmers' unity). A few other farmers did the same by driving a tractor over the crops, it said.
In the light of such reports, the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) national spokesperson clarified that did not ask farmers to do this.
"There is an appeal to the farmer not to do this. You are not asked to do this," Tikait said in a Hindi tweet this afternoon, attaching a news clip showing the rampaging tractor destroying wheat crop in Bhainsi village of Uttar Pradesh.
Meanwhile, Tikait has said he will soon be visiting Gujarat to drum up support for the movement against the Centre's farm laws. He said this as he met visiting groups of supporters from Gujarat and Maharashtra at Ghazipur on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border where he has been camping along with his supporters since November 2020.
Thousands of farmers are camping at Delhi border points of Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur with a demand that the Centre repeal the three new farm laws and make a new one guaranteeing minimum support price (MSP) for crops, fearing the legislations would hurt their livelihood.
Follow our LIVE blog for the latest updates of the farmers' protest
The government, which has held 11 rounds of formal talks with the protesting farmers’ unions, has maintained the laws are pro-farmer.