The Samyukt Kisan Morcha said that protests were held across the country, demanding strict action against those who threw ink on Rakesh Tikait in Bengaluru.

Rakesh Tikait after some people barged into a press conference he was addressing and threw ink at him
news Controversy Wednesday, June 01, 2022 - 09:57

Farm organisations across the country on Tuesday, May 31, staged protests against the attack on farmer leader Rakesh Tikait in Bengaluru, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) has said. This came a day after a group of people barged into a hall where Tikait — a prominent face of the nearly year-long protests against the Union government’s three contentious farm laws — was addressing a press conference in Bengaluru, and threw ink on the Bharatiya Kisan Union leader. Three people have been arrested for the attack.

Demonstrations were held in several states as the protesting farmers demanded strict action against the culprits and an inquiry into the incident, the SKM said. "According to the available reports, protests were held in Delhi, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and other states," the statement said. In Uttar Pradesh, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) workers and functionaries staged a protest at the district headquarters in Ghaziabad and demanded Z-plus category security for Tikait.

A memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi was handed over to city magistrate Gambhir Singh, in which they stated that at the time of the incident, policemen were present there. This, they alleged, “shows that BJP workers had carried out this act”. In Karnataka, farm organisations held protests in Bengaluru, Chikkaballapura, Chamarajanagar and Sagar, among other places, it said. Further, in its statement, the SKM has reiterated its demand of strict punishment for the culprits, suspension of officers guilty of negligence and a judicial inquiry into the incident, apart from security to Tikait.

On Monday, Tikait was reportedly addressing a press conference about allegations against Karnataka farmer leader Kodihalli Chandrashekar, after a sting operation by a television channel. The video from the sting operation had led to allegations that Chandrashekar had demanded money to end the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) employees’ strike in April 2021. The farmer leader was speaking when a few people entered the room and started to argue with him, and then threw black ink at him. Visuals showed a scuffle breaking out between supporters of Tikait and those who had entered to disrupt the meeting, as the attackers started to throw chairs at those present. As per the Times of India, one of the people who barged into the hall — who was reportedly posing as a journalist — went on stage on the pretext of fixing Tikait’s microphone and then tried to attack him with it.

Read: Ink thrown at farmer leader Rakesh Tikait in Bengaluru during press meet

In videos of the incident that later surfaced, the people who barged into the room were also heard raising slogans praising Prime Minister Modi.

Following the attack, Tikait told the media that the police were responsible for providing security to him, which they failed to do. He also alleged that the BJP had a hand in the incident. “No security has been provided by the local police here. This has been done in collusion with the government,” Tikait said after the ink attack, according to ANI.

Watch: Blank ink thrown at Rakesh Tikait in Bengaluru

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