14 Feb 2024

Farmer movement leaders speak on thrashing of scribes and holding talks with Centre

After the incident of alleged assault on journalists during the farmers' movement, the leaders of the movement have apologized to the scribes.

Addressing journalists on Thursday evening, farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal said, "We have come to know that two journalists have been misbehaved, we apologize to them and we are with those journalists. We will ensure that such incidents do not happen again." 

He said, “Care will be taken to ensure that the atmosphere does not deteriorate in any way. We apologize for what happened to the journalists today.”

He said, “The time has come to protect the farmer movement. The union will put its teams on duty so that vigilance can be maintained and such an incident should not happen to any journalist in future. The corporate house or channel owner may have a different viewpoint but the journalists are our brothers. Our views may differ from those of the media house, but misbehavior with media persons is not right.”

Dallewal said that now the next talks will be held with the central government delegation on Thursday evening.

Next meeting with Union ministers on Thursday

Farmer leaders clarified that there was no meeting with any Union minister on Wednesday, the meeting with the Union ministers is to be held on Thursday.

He said, “We appeal to all the youth and farmer leaders to cooperate till the meeting tomorrow and not allow the atmosphere to deteriorate.”

Talking to media, farmer leaders said, “Last night we had received the message of talks, we made up our mind to hold talks. First of all, we talked to all the people of the movement, we had decided that today we will remain silent and not move forward. All the unions had decided that if the government wants to hold talks, we will hold talks and will not move ahead. Even today, drones shelled us, which meant that the Central government does not want to hold talks with us.”

Farmer leaders further said, “Our leaders kept explaining to the youth, did not allow anyone to go ahead, but still the Center deliberately used force on us. On Wednesday no one came forward from our side, the security forces instigated us by shelling but 99 percent of our protesters remained peaceful. The government should not have shelled us when we were sitting peacefully. The Center wants to provoke us.”

'Going to Delhi is not a prestige issue for us'

Farmer leaders said, “Paramilitary forces have been deployed to stop us. Paramilitary forces are deployed in emergency situations, but the central government has deployed paramilitary forces considering farmers as enemies. Our Twitter handles have been closed calling us anti-national. 

"Today again arrests have been made, the leaders of the unions which have supported us in Uttar Pradesh have been arrested. Our workers are being taken to the police station. Even in these circumstances, we do not want to step back from talks. Going to Delhi is not a question of our prestige, we still want to hold talks. We appeal to the Prime Minister that shells should not be fired at us when we are sitting peacefully.”

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