‘Operation Tikait’ launched to arrest farmer leader

April 1st, 2008 - 10:34 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Bahujan Samaj Party

Sisauli (Uttar Pradesh), April 1 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh police Tuesday launched “Operation Tikait” to nab Mahendra Singh Tikait, accused of abusing Chief Minister Mayawati on caste lines, forcing the farmer leader to go in hiding. “An operation has been launched to arrest Tikait. Under the operation all the police officers belonging to his caste have been called in Muzaffarnagar to persuade him to court arrest,” a police source told IANS.

An arrest warrant was issued Monday against Tikait, the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) president, under the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Atrocities (Prevention) Act for his alleged remarks against Mayawati.

However, the police attempts to arrest Tikait, who commands vast following among farmers here, Monday met with violent resistance from his supporters in Sisauli, the BKU headquarters, forcing them to back off.

As part of renewed efforts to nab him, officials of inspector rank from Bulandshehar were camping at the circuit house in Muzaffarnagar.

Inspector General (Railways) Gurdarshan Singh, former Muzaffarnagar district magistrate Manoj Singh and Commandant of 32 battalion of Provincial Armed Constabulary Alok Singh were also flown down to Muzaffarnagar, police sources said.

People close to Tikait said the 73-year-old leader went into hiding with the news of intense police efforts doing rounds.

The situation in the village remained volatile with police sources saying the force has been alerted for a late Tuesday night operation to arrest Tikait.

Tikait’s two sons - Rakesh and Surinder - were arrested over the clashes between his supporters and the security personnel Monday.

Tikait’s diatribe against the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief has brought to the fore the differences between the upper castes and lower castes in western Uttar Pradesh.

With Tikait’s arrest looking imminent, his supporters blocked the security personnel from entering the village.

In view of the situation in Sisauli, an alert has been sounded in all western Uttar Pradesh districts and Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) units have been deployed around the town. Around 6,000 policemen have surrounded village.

“The forces will remain deployed till the situation demands,” Inspector General (Meerut range) V.K. Gupta said.

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