Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border at Ghazipur saw a turmoil on Thursday night, January 28, after police officers were seen driving away thousands of farmers from the protest site, and the protesters returning after a video of farmer leader Rakesh Tikait breaking down went viral.
As Tikait sobbed on national television, he told the media that he would rather commit suicide than leave and end the protest against the farm laws.
Tikait also announced that he would sit on a hunger strike at the protest site and only drink water from his village.
Events That Took Place Last Night
- Over 5,000 farmers gathered in support of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait in Muzaffarnagar's Sisauli village after he broke down in front of the television cameras when the cops started dispersing the farmers.
- Reportedly, the UP administration also cut off the water and power supply to the protesters and notified farmers over the violence on Tuesday during a tractor rally in Delhi.
- Tikait accused the BJP of hatching a conspiracy against him. He said he was ready to 'face bullets or kill himself'.
- His brother Naresh Tikait, then called for a 'Mahapanchayat' to decide the next course of action. Many of the members of the union have been accused in the tractor rally violence that took place on Republic Day, January 26. Naresh, the leader of Balian Khap Panchayat, had earlier agreed to clear out the Ghazipur site. The video clip resulted in hordes of farmers making an about-turn to attend the Mahapanchayat called by his union.
- According to the NDTV report, last evening, the administration in UP and Haryana deployed a massive force of security personnel at Ghazipur, to drive out thousands of farmers protesting at various border points over two months. This included 300 CAPF (Central Armed Police Forces) personnel, 600 troops of the Provincial Armed Constabulary and 1,000 police personnel.
- As the farmers were being dispersed, Tikait was surrounded by the media, weeping loudly on TV cameras, and declared that they would not budge. "They want to destroy farmers. We will not allow this to happen. Either the laws will be taken back, or Tikait will kill himself. This is a conspiracy against farmers."
- Villagers also blocked the Jind-Chandigarh route in Kandela village of Haryana's Jind district late night to support Tikait.
- The villagers have decided to conduct a symbolic dharna. "The Kandela Khap members, along with the villagers, will decide the strategy and leave for Delhi tomorrow," one of the villagers told the media. Another villager warned of grave consequences if the government takes any action against the farmers in Ghazipur.
- In Haryana, the cops asked the farmers, who have been protesting for two months in Karnal to leave. The farmers also received a 24-hour ultimatum from the residents, who said they faced inconvenience because of the protests.
- The other two border points, Tikri and Singhu, have also been placed under heavy security.
- According to the report, the police have dug up roads using JCB machines near these border points. Last night the administration had cut off power and water supply, however, it was restored this morning.
- On Friday, January 29, former Union Minister Ajit Singh of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) extended his party's support to the BKU. "It is a matter of life and death for farmers, but do not worry. All have to stay together, united in this," Singh's son Jayant Chowdhury told the farmers.
- Tikait has now demanded a judicial inquiry into the January 26 violence, including the Red Fort events. The Delhi Police has already filed over 25 cases against several farmer leaders and arrested 19.
- A huge crowd of people gathered at the Ghazipur border this morning. Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Jayant Chaudhary also arrived at the site to meet Tikait and other farmers.