Tikait’s emotional outburst reignites stir

NEW DELHI, JAN 30 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 1/30/2021 12:06:20 PM IST

The emotive pull of tears of UP farm leader Rakesh Tikait is being felt in the villages of Punjab too. The fear and confusion over the protest ending abruptly that had gripped the state’s villages in the aftermath of the Republic Day violence has now been replaced by a renewed vigour to join the stir. Several village-level committees are now sending large number of people, not just farmers, to support the movement.

These committees are now also assigning duties to villagers related to the staying at protest sites, taking water, milk, food for the protestors there.

In several villages, people said that they were moved by the video of farm leader Rakesh Tikait getting emotional over how farmers were being branded as terrorists. They added that several farm leaders in Punjab needed to learn from Tikait’s dedication.

He was once a Delhi Police constable, tried his hand at electoral politics and been a farmer leader for years. But Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Tikait has broken out of the confines of western UP to find a space in the national spotlight as arguably the most powerful farm leader of the day.

The movement was till now dominated by protesters from the fields of Punjab and Haryana who set up camp at Singhu and Tikri border points into the city. Now, the focus has shifted to Ghazipur on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border where farmers are gathering in thousands to boost the fight that seemed to have been weakening only two days ago.

“We have a population of around 1,800 people and every household will send one person each to the protest site and we have decided to send 40-50 persons every week who will be replaced with the new group,” a farm leader said, adding that now zeal to go to Delhi has increased manifold ever since the government used force on the protestors at Singhu and Gazipur borders.

The crowd at Ghazipur border that had reduced to 500 Thursday night grew manifold over the next 12 hours, running into well over 5,000 in next 24 hours. The movement was not just revived but further energised.

Various farmer leaders Saturday claimed that with more and more farmer groups marching towards Delhi, there would a be a record gathering of peasants and farm labourers on the borders by February 2.

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