Rakesh Tikait in MP today; farmers warn of stir if he is arrested in 2012 case
Farmers in Madhya Pradesh have warned of intensifying their agitation if Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) national leader Rakesh Tikait was arrested on arrival in Sheopur city Monday afternoon to address a Kisan Mahapanchayat in connection with an old case.
“Rakesh Tikait will reach Sheopur in the afternoon from Delhi. If the police arrest him under the directions of the BJP-led state government, we will intensify our protest and the state government will be responsible for any untoward incident,” said BKU state president Anil Yadav.
While the farm leader is coming to MP to garner support against the three new farm laws, and will hold three rallies this week, speculations are rife that he may be arrested on arrival. A police officer said on the condition of anonymity the arrest would be in connection with a 2012 case in which Tikait staged a protest against a power plant in Jaithari area of Anuppur district.
Tikait, along with 100 others, was arrested under sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with armed weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC but as released on bail. Later, he didn’t appear during a hearing and an arrest warrant was issued against him in 2016. Since then, he is absconding.
However, Yadav pointed out, “Tikait has visited the state at least eight times since the court issued an arrest warrant against him. Why didn’t the MP police arrest him then? The government wants to suppress the protest and that’s why, ministers are making efforts to send farmer leaders behind the bars.”
Anuppur superintendent of police Mangilal Solanki said, “I can’t comment over it but we will act as per the law.”
Sheopur superintendent of police Sampat Upadhyaya said, “We don’t have any information regarding any arrest. We are just maintaining law and order in the district.”
Heavy police force has been deployed in Sheopur as thousands of people are expected in the panchayat.