The farmers’ protests that began as an agitation by a minuscule number of farmers against the revolutionary farm laws were quickly hijacked by political opportunists and vested interest groups. The biggest name to hog the limelight has been Rakesh Tikait, the current leader and spokesperson of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU). However, a women farmer named Sushila Devi from Kinauni village in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh has now accused the BKU leader of forcefully encroaching her family’s 3 bighas of land worth lakhs of rupees, according to a report by Zee News.
“Rakesh Tikait is not a farmer leader but a very big land mafia. They forcibly do this on the lands of small farmers” said Sushila Devi.
The victim’s family alleged that Tikait and his son Charan Singh illegally occupied their land on 30 May and destroyed the crop standing there. The family has appealed to the district administration as well as Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for justice and demanded strict action against Rakesh Tikait.
Reported previously by TFI, Rakesh Tikait’s assets are worth as much as Rs 80 crores. Tikait’s assets are spread across four states in the country viz. Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, and Maharashtra. Furthermore, these assets traverse 13 cities of the country, including Muzaffarnagar, Lalitpur, Jhansi, Lakhimpur Kheri, Bijnor, Badaun, Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Dehradun, Roorkee, Haridwar, and Mumbai.
Such is the money-might of Tikait that he owns a range of businesses like petrol pumps, brick kilns, showrooms, etc. The BKU leader has two daughters — Seema and Jyoti. The latter lives in Australia and had reportedly organised a rally in support of the protesting farmers in Melbourne on February 8.
Some reports suggest that Rakesh Tikait has kept a deer, which is illegal. According to the law, catching and capturing any wild animal including deer in India is a punishable offence. The guilty can be punished for seven years or a fine of Rs 25,000 be imposed on them or both.
Tikait is the son of revolutionary farm leader Mahendra Singh Tikait, who was one of the founding members of the BKU. Rakesh Tikait is merely surviving on the legacy of his father and is using it to fulfil his electoral dreams, come the next assembly elections in Haryana or UP.
Tikait has a flair for controversy and theatrics. In the last six months, on umpteen occasions, he has threatened to commit suicide, shed crocodile tears so as to keep few gullible farmers in his pocket and further the protest that is causing millions in loss to the exchequers. Not to forget the covid super spreading event that the farmer’s protest has metamorphosed itself into. And all that has transpired because of a petulant Tikait, who is now usurping the lands of small-time farmers.