In an unusual protest, a 'cow' joined a farmer's group outside the police station in Haryana's Fatehabad district on Sunday. The protesters had been demanding the release of two farmers who were arrested on June 1 at the home of JJP MLA Devender Babli of Tohana.
The cow was brought in as the 41st witness for the arrest of the farmers.
"The present government considers itself as a government of cow worshippers or cow lovers. We have brought the sacred animal as a symbol because it is considered pure and pious, and its presence might be helpful in putting some sense in the government," one of the protesting farmers said to NDTV.
Farmers decided to escalate their protest on Sunday after negotiations between farmer representatives and district-level administrative officers failed to achieve any results. Rakesh Tikait, a well-known farmer, spearheaded the sit-in outside the police station.
Vikas Sisar and Ravi Azad, two farmer leaders, were detained last Wednesday for encircling the home of Haryana MLA Devendra Singh Babli of the JJP, which is associated with the ruling BJP. At least 27 farmers were arrested in association with this protest. Out of 27, 25 were released soon, and the two remained in judicial custody.
Sisar and Azad have applied for bail in a local court and their plea will be heard on Monday, according to their counsel. Led by Tikait, the protesting farmers held talks with police officials and demanded that the case against Sisar and Azad be withdrawn.
Earlier, the farmers had requested the filing of a complaint against Babli for allegedly insulting them verbally during their demonstration against the centre's controversial agricultural laws. Later, the politician apologised for using "inappropriate" language against farmers.