There is "evidence" that the ongoing farmers' protest has been "overtaken" by the "tukde-tukde gang", Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Friday, December 11.
Talking about the presence of posters in support of Sharjeel Imam, Umar Khalid, Gautam Navlakha and others at the farmers' protest, the union minister said that the negotiations between the government and farmers' unions failed because of a "sinister design".
In response to an RTI application, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in January, had said that it has "no information" related to 'Tukde Tukde Gang'.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday said that the centre is ready to hold talks with the farmers and it has accepted most of their demands.
"But when we held talks with them, they said they want people like Sharjil Imam to be released. I think instead of farmers' union, the protest has now gone into the hands of organisations who work to break the nation," the minister said.
Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that MSP and APMC can be the concerns of farmers, "but what is the point to raise such posters". "This is dangerous and farmers' unions should keep themselves away from this. This is just to divert and deviate the issues," Tomar said.
A day ago, another Union minister, Raosaheb Danve, had said that China and Pakistan were behind the ongoing farmers' protests.
"The agitation that is going on is not that of farmers. China and Pakistan have a hand behind this. Muslims in this country were incited first. What was said (to them)? That NRC is coming, CAA is coming and Muslims will have to leave this country in six months. Did a single Muslim leave? Those efforts didn't succeed and now farmers are being told that they will face losses. This is the conspiracy of other countries," Danve had said.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Tomar had requested the media to find out if there were "other forces" behind the farmers' protest.
"Media's eyes are sharp and we will leave to it to find out," Tomar had said.