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Home / News / India /  Farmers' protest: Nab those who insulted Tricolour, Rakesh Tikait tells PM Modi

Responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comment that the country is saddened after the Tricolour was insulted on Republic Day, Bharat Kisan Union (BKU) chief Rakesh Tikait said that the whole country loves the national flag and the government should nab those who insulted it.

"The national flag belongs to all. The government should nab those who insulted it," Tikait said.

After the PM on Friday said that the Centre's proposal to the protesting farmers on the farm laws still stands, the BKU chief said that they will hold talks only if the government does not put prior conditions.

"With respect to the PM, we want a solution to the issue of farmers. However, we will not hold talks with the government at gunpoint. Farmers are ready to hold talks only if the Centre does not put prior conditions in front of us (Rough translation)," he said.

Meanwhile, farmer leader Naresh Tikait Sunday said that protesting farmers will honour the dignity of prime minister, but are also committed to protect their own self-respect, a day after Narendra Modi said his government was just a “phone call away" for talks with them.

Tikait said the Centre should "release our men and prepare an environment conducive for talks".

His statement comes after the Delhi Police on Saturday said its Crime branch has received 1,700 mobile clips and CCTV footage from the public in connection with the January 26 violence during farmers' tractor rally.

In a statement, Delhi police said that a total of 84 people were arrested and 38 FIRs have been registered in connection with the Republic Day violence.

“A respectful solution should be reached. We will never agree to anything under pressure," he told PTI at the Ghazipur border between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had Saturday said his government’s offer on agri laws made to protesting farmers “still stands" and it was a just “phone call away" for talks, days after violence broke out in parts of the national capital on Republic Day.

“We will honor and respect the dignity of prime minister. Farmers don't want that the government or Parliament bows down to them," Tikait said.

“Will also ensure that the self-respect of farmers is protected. A middle way should be found. Talks should be held," he added.

During their January 26 parade, many of the protesters, driving tractors, reached the Red Fort while some of them hoisted religious flags on its domes and the flagstaff at the ramparts, where the national flag is unfurled by the prime minister on Independence Day.

Tikait said, “The violence on January 26 was part of a conspiracy. The Tricolor is over and above everything. We will never let anyone disrespect it. It will not be tolerated," he said.

The Delhi Police has registered nearly 40 cases and made over 80 arrests in connection with the violence and vandalism.

“The government should release our men and prepare an environment conducive for talks. A respectful solution should be reached. We will never agree to anything under pressure," Tikait asserted.

In his monthly Mann Ki Baat radio broadcast Sunday, Prime Minister Modi also referred to the Red Fort incident, saying the country was much pained at seeing the dishonour to the Tricolour on Republic Day.

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