An undated video of Bhartiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait has gone viral, wherein he is seen asking and appealing to his supporters to be armed with lathis for the Republic Day tractor rally, and be prepared to save their land. In the video, Tikait could be heard saying "The government is not listening. Come with your sticks and flags." After a pause, Tikait is asking his supporters to 'understand his words, come along with tiranga atop lathis'.
On being asked about the viral video, the BKU spokesperson said, "We said bring your own sticks. Please show me a flag without a stick, I will accept my mistake."
After the video went viral, Rakesh Tikait has now distanced himself from the violence and Red Fort incident during the farmers' tractor rally on Republic Day. Those who created violence and unfurled flags at the fort will have to pay for their deeds, Tikait said.
Uneducated people were driving tractors who did not know the paths of Delhi, alleged Tikait.
"Uneducated people were driving tractors, they did not know the paths of Delhi. Administration told them the way towards Delhi. They went to Delhi and returned home. Some of them unknowingly deflected towards Red Fort. Police guided them to return and they returned," Tikait said.
"Those who created violence and unfurled flags at Red Fort will have to pay for their deeds. For the last two months, a conspiracy is going on against a particular community. This is not a movement of Sikhs, but farmers. Our issues remain the same and our protest will continue," he added.
Commenting on the allegations of farmer unions that Punjabi actor-singer-activist Deep Sidhu directed youth to move towards the Red Fort, Tikait said, "Deep Sidhu is not a Sikh, he is a worker of the BJP. There is a picture of him with the Prime Minister. This is a movement of farmers and will remain so. Some people will have to leave this place immediately- those who broke barricading will never be a part of the movement."
What Rakesh Tikait said on January 26
As reports of violence by farmers, who did not follow the marked route for their tractor march on Republic Day, surfaced, Tikait on Tuesday said there are people from political parties who are trying to malign the agitation against new farm laws. Tikait had also called upon farmers to maintain discipline.
"We know the people who are trying to create a disturbance, they have been identified. There are people from political parties who are trying to malign the agitation," Tikait said.
He said those indulging in violence are not farmers.
"Farmers should maintain discipline and carry out parade on the designated route. If some people have forgotten the route and entered Delhi, they should reach the site of the protest," he said.
The tractor parade on Tuesday, which was to highlight the demands of the farmer unions to repeal three new agri laws, dissolved into anarchy on the streets of the city, as tens of thousands of protesters broke through barriers, fought with police, overturned vehicles, and hoisted a religious flag from the ramparts of the iconic Red Fort.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police have registered 22 FIRs so far in connection with the violence that broke out during the farmers' tractor parade in the national capital leaving over 300 policemen injured, officials said on Wednesday.
An official said multiple videos and CCTV footage are being scanned to identify farmers involved in the violence on Tuesday and that strict action will be taken against the culprits.
Security has been beefed up in several places across the national capital especially at the Red Fort and farmer protest sites, with the deployment of additional paramilitary forces following the violence.