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Union Minister issued notice over 'tukde gang' remarks against farmers

Union Minister issued notice over tukde gang remarks against farmers

Police personnel stand along a highway on the Haryana-Rajasthan border to stop farmers from joining protests in Delhi against the recent agricultural reforms, in Rewari district on December 13, 2020.

New Delhi: Prominent RTI activist Saket Gokhale has issued a notice to Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad over his "tukde tukde gang" remarks against the protesting farmers.

The minister while speaking on the ongoing farmer protests against the new farm laws brought by the Centre had warned against the infiltration of "tukde tukde gang" into the protests.

The notice sent by the Mumbai-based activist sought clarification from the minister on the "mythical gang" on which the country's Home Ministry and law enforcement agencies are ignorant.

The notice was referring to a clarification given on 20 January, 2020, by the Home Ministry to an RTI application where in it said, "the Ministry of Home Affairs has no information concerning tukde-tukde gang."

The notice said: "you clearly seem to have more information about this mythical "gang" than the country's Home Ministry and the law enforcement agencies.

The notice also cautioned the minister against using rhetoric "to create a false bogey to delegitimise a genuine protest."

It also said that to make statements "to score political brownie points, divide the people of India, and to create monsters where none exist is a shocking abdication of your ministerial responsibilities."

The Centre has been accusing the protests by the farmers infiltrated by unsavoury elements.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had alleged that the protests have links to Khalistan militant group.

Union Minister for Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar had said leftist and Maoist elements were conspiring to spoil the atmosphere. Union Minister Piyush Goyal also had echoed Tomar and said that the agitation no longer remained a farmers' movement.

The ministers have been citing to the photographs of protesters at the Tikri border holding posters demanding release of scholars, activists and intellectuals arrested under various charges.

"I want to ask who are these people who are talking the language of breaking the country...Now demands are being raised to free those so-called intellectuals who are in jails for indulging in rioting in Delhi and Maharashtra," Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Sunday.

Farmers are protesting against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

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