Addressing farmers in Shivamogga on March 20, Tikait had called for intensifying protest against the three farm laws and to “lay siege to Bengaluru with their tractors.”

Rakesh Tikait speaking at an earlier rally holding a pamphlet in his handPTI
news Farmers Protest Wednesday, March 24, 2021 - 15:46

Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait has been booked by the Shivamogga Police, allegedly for provocative speech. Registering a suo-moto FIR (First Information Report), the police booked him under Section 153 (giving a provocative speech with intent to cause riot) of the Indian Penal Code. Tikait, who is leading the protest against the farm laws in Delhi, was in Shivamogga on March 20, addressing the farmers’ mahapanchayat.

Confirming the FIR, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Shivamogga Shekhar HT, said, “An FIR was filed against Rakesh Tikait for giving a speech that could have incited violence in the state and was filed by Shivamogga Police,” he said. Tikait, in his Shivamogga speech, had called upon the farmers to intensify the stir against the farm laws.

Leading the protests, Tikait had urged farmers of Karnataka to “lay siege to Bengaluru with their tractors” in protest against the three farm laws passed by the Union government, and convert the city to the focal point of agitation, like in Delhi. “You have to turn Bengaluru into Delhi. You will have to lay siege to the city from all directions," he said.

Farmers from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at the Delhi border points -- Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur -- for over three months, demanding the repeal of farm laws and a legal guarantee on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their crops. Tikait said that lakhs of farmers and their families have laid siege to Delhi by agitating at the border points. He added that the stir would continue until the three laws are taken back by the government.

In his speech during the mahapanchayat in Karnataka, he had alleged that the government's target is to ensure that in the next 20 years, all the land goes to the banks and companies and the farmers become labourers. He exhorted the farmers to not let this happen; called upon youth and asked them to engage in agriculture.

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