Farmers attend Muzaffarnagar maha panchayat to back BKU

Thousands of farmers attend maha panchayat in Muzanagarffar to back Bharatiya Kisan Union

The GIC ground near Mahaveer Chowk was packed, a sea of people congregating to back the protesters at UP Gate in Ghazipur

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) President Naresh Tikait along with other leaders during a 'Maha Panchayat', organised to mobilise support for the farmers' agitation at Delhi borders against Centre's farm reform laws, in Muzaffarnagar. Credit: PTi Photo

Undeterred by the state government's warning of using force, the farmers on Friday made it clear that their dharna on the Ghazipur border against the farm laws would continue.

The decision was taken at a 'maha panchayat', which was attended a large number of farmers and leaders of different opposition parties, at Muzaffarnagar, about 500 kilometres from here.

Addressing the gathering of the farmers, who had arrived at the maha panchayat from nearby districts, Naresh Tikait, the president of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), said there was no question of calling off the protest and exhorted the farmers to reach the Ghazipur border in large numbers on Saturday.

"All the allegations against the farmers with regard to the violence in Delhi during the tractor rally are false...farmers can never show disrespect to the Tricolour," he said.

Expressing his support to the farmer leader and brother Rakesh Tikait, who had been served a notice by the police over his alleged role in the violence, Naresh slammed the BJP governments at the Centre and in the state for ignoring the demands of the farmers.

Leaders from Congress, Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal and Aam Admi Party also participated in the maha panchayat and pledged their support to the agitation.

SP president Akhilesh Yadav accused the BJP governments of 'persecuting' the farmers. "The entire country is with the farmers," he said in a tweet.

The Ghaziabad district administration had on Thursday cut off the power and water supply at the venue of the dharna on the Ghazipur border and warned of action if the farmers did not leave the ground.

Farmers, who had been on dharna in Baghpat, Mathura and elsewhere in the state, had called off their protests. In Baghpat, the police forced the agitating farmers to leave the Delhi-Saharanpur highway at Baraut in the district on Thursday.

One farmer was killed when his tractor overturned and several others, including the cops, were injured in the violence during the tractor rally on Tuesday.