The spectre of a bloody showdown between Uttar Pradesh police and supporters of farmers leader Mahendra Singh Tikait, holed up at a village near Muzaffarnagar, loomed large on Tuesday night as he refused to surrender for allegedly making casteist remarks against Chief Minister Mayawati.
The state government amassed around 10,000 policemen and paramilitary personnel around Sisoli village where Tikait is holed up along with an estimated 4,000 activists of the Bharatiya Kisan Union.
The security personnel are deployed around the village, about 20 km from Muzaffarnagar town, to arrest Tikait and to contain violent resistance and backlash.
Setting at rest speculation about the BKU chief surrendering to the police, Tikait came out of a government guesthouse in Muzaffarnagar and announced he would not give himself up as his supporters did not want him to do so.
However, Tikait showed signs of softening by describing Mayawati as his daughter and expressing willingness to withdraw his controversial remarks against her if she wants him to.
In Lucknow, UP's Principal Home Secretary J N Chamber told reporters that a team of senior officials had been sent to village Sisoli in Muzaffarnagar district.
"A team of senior officials including IG rank officer Gurusharan Singh and a number of magistrates and others officers have been sent to Siloli to ensure peaceful arrest of Tikait," Chamber said.