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RLD president meets injured farmers in Muzaffarnagar, demands FIR against culprits

Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh. File   | Photo Credit: SANDEEP SAXENA

Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) president Ajit Singh reached Soram village in Muzaffarnagar on Tuesday to meet farmers who were injured in a clash with the aides of Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan on Monday. “I am not saying farmers are with me. I have come here to say I am with you,” he said.

Addressing hundreds of farmers, he demanded FIR be registered against those who roughed up the farmers and entered their houses. “This is the least you could do. It is the law,” he told the officials present at the meeting. “You are to protect common people and not just the Minister and his aides.”

The injured had submitted a complaint against Mr. Balyan and his aides in the Shahpaur police station on Monday.

Mr. Singh said farmers were only asking questions about farm laws and raising slogans of unity. “Why were they beaten up? What was the administration doing,” he asked. “When the farmers asked about the pending dues of sugarcane, the local MP got agitated. ‘Murdabad’ and ‘Zindabad’ are common slogans in political life. It doesn’t mean you will beat up farmers. You are supposed to satisfy the electorate.”

He said what happened on Monday was the doings of miscreants brought from outside. “The administration knows that we conduct panchayats of lakhs of farmers with utmost discipline.” Leaving the decision to hold the panchayat against the BJP to the villagers, he asked farmers to remain united.

“It is not that laws have never been rolled back. In 2009, it was your unity and the might of the Opposition that forced the then UPA government to take back the ordinance that said the FRP [fair and remunerative price) of sugarcane will be fixed only by the Centre.”

He urged the government to explain the laws to him. “I have been told there are many learned people in this government. I have also studied a bit. I appeal to the government to explain the farm laws to me and I will explain it to you,” he said to thunderous applause.

He said the BJP called the RLD casteist but it was the BJP that for the first time worked towards dividing farmers on the lines of religion and caste. Assailing the government for the increase in prices, the 82-year-old said, “It seems this government will first make your income half and then it will double it.”

BKU president Naresh Tikait said on Tuesday those who were injured were farmers and not RLD workers.

Mr. Balyan urged the media not to use the word farmer for political activists. Taking a dig at RLD vice-president Jayant Chaudhary, the Muzaffarnagar MP said those living in Delhi should not try to divide people through tweets. Referring to the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013, he asked where these leaders were when boys of our community were beaten up. “Still, I express regret on whatever happpened. I have to work among these people,” he said.

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 2:39:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rld-president-meets-injured-farmers-in-muzaffarnagar-demands-fir-against-culprits/article33911751.ece

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