Vaccinate protesters, prisoners: Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait

Rakesh Tikait

Rakesh Tikait, one of the faces of ongoing farmers’ agitation against Narendra Modi government’s new farm laws, has demanded that all protesters who have been camping at the borders of the capital should be vaccinated.

Farmer leader said that he is also ready to get vaccinated and will lead the way.

“As the COVID-19 cases rise in the country once again, we will follow the Covid related guidelines. We will follow social distancing here,” said Tikait.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader also said that they won’t end the protest because of COVID-19 fear.

“We will increase the size of the tents in order to maintain distance. This protest is for a cause and we will continue this till the laws a withdrawal,” he added.

Tikait further told news agency that jail inmates should also be vaccinated and details should be released on whether they have been following social distancing.

Tikait went on to say: “Parents of the inmates in the prisons have requested us to take up their issues. COVID guidelines are not been followed in prisons. There are a lot of prisoners and they are sleeping close to each other. Social distancing should be followed in the prisons also.”

Thousands of farmers, especially from Punjab and Haryana, are staging a sit-in protest along Delhi borders. The protest started on November 26, 2020.

The farmers are demanding a complete rollback of the new farm reform laws and a guarantee on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system being retained. Multiple rounds of talks between the Centre and the farmers’ union leaders have ended in a stalemate. Protesting farmers fear that the new laws will dismantle the MSP system and corporatise farming.