Scores of farmers led by Rakesh Tikait, Gurnam Singh Chaduni and Samukta Kisan Morcha leader Yogendra Yadav on Saturday night staged a sit-in at Sadar police station in Fatehabad here demanding the release of fellow farmers.
They had also sought the registration of a case against local JJP MLA Devender Babli for allegedly hurling abuses at them. Babli later expressed regret for uttering "inappropriate" words against farmers.
In a short video clip released on social media, Babli said he forgives those people for whatever they had done with him on June 1.
“I uttered some words which were not appropriate. As I am a public representative, I take back all those words and express regret (over it),” said Babli.
Earlier, Tikait, Chaduni along with protesters gathered at the police station in Fatehabad here, demanding the release of two farmers who were arrested over the gherao of Babli's residence.
They also sought the registration of a case against Babli for allegedly hurling abuses at them.
Tikait, Chaduni and their fellow protesters first assembled at the grain market here and then marched towards the police station to court arrest.
A heavy police force was deployed at the police station. Talking to the media at the Sadar police station premises, Yadav said the issue of release of two farmers has not been resolved yet. "There is a deadlock in talks between us and the police administration," said Yadav.
"We raised two issues and the first one was that we wanted those who have been arrested should be released and if they cannot release them then we should be put behind bars," said Yadav, adding that farmers were there to court arrest. The other matter related to alleged misbehaviour of Babli stands resolved as the legislator has tendered an “apology” to farmers, said Yadav.
Yadav said Babli had not lodged any complaint against two farmers --Vikas and Ravi Azad -- who had been arrested by the police.
But the government was not ready to withdraw the case against them, said Yadav.
"When we asked the police administration about the status of these two farmers," Yadav said, they were told farmers can come after two days for holding talks on this issue.
"We have come here not to listen and we came here for resolution of the issue," said Yadav. With the Haryana police remaining “adamant” on its stand, Yadav said farmers have decided to stage a 'dharna' here till their issue is resolved.
"We will continue to sit in a peaceful and democratic manner," asserted Yadav. Women along with the farmers were also staging a sit-in at the police station.
Farmers said they would mobilise more people at the police station and would also make arrangements for food and water for protesters. Farmer leader Chaduni earlier had said "false" cases registered against farmers should also be withdrawn and a case should be lodged against Babli for "hurling abuses and misbehaving with them".
On June 1, the Jannayak Janta Party legislator had faced a protest by a group of farmers who showed black flags to him and raised slogans. Babli had alleged that some of the protesters resorted to unruly behaviour and smashed the windscreen of his SUV.
Farmers, however, accused Babli of publicly using abusive and threatening language. Protesting farmers had on Wednesday said they would gherao all police stations across the state on June 7 if MLA Babli did not tender an apology by June 6.
Several farmer groups in the state have been opposing the public functions of the BJP-JJP leaders. Earlier addressing the gathering at the grain market, farmer leader Tikait said their agitation against the farm laws would continue till the government repeal these laws and enact a law on MSP.
He asserted that the government would have to withdraw the three farm laws. “The government of India will have to withdraw these black laws. Be it in 2022 or 2023. The laws will be withdrawn in 2024. It is a guarantee,” he said, asserting that the agitation would continue till 2024.
Talking about the alleged “adverse” impact on the implementation of these laws, he said one day the grains would be “locked” in the godowns of big people and traders.
SKM leader Yogendra Yadav also slammed the central government. “In this one year, farmers have made them realise that they understand everything and they (Centre) cannot befool farmers. The government may take as much time as it can but these laws will be scrapped,” said Yadav.