Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Mahendra Singh Tikait, accused of making casteist remarks against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, was on Wednesday granted bail after he surrendered in the district court in Bijnore.
Tikait, who reached Bijnore from Muzaffarnagar, was granted bail by Additional District Judge Shambhu Sharan Mishra after he furnished two sureties of Rs 20,000 each.
Earlier, Tikait, who is facing charges under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the Indian Penal Code, surrendered before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Brajendra Kumar Tyagi.
Tyagi, however, forwarded the case to District Judge Subhash Chander Aggarwal on the ground that it was beyond his powers to hear it.
Aggarwal then referred the matter to Additional District Judge Shambhu Sharan Mishra, who reserved his order on the bail application after hearing it.
Tikait, whom the police wanted for allegedly making casteist remarks in a public meeting on Sunday, took the decision to surrender after a meeting of the Panchayat leaders on Wednesday morning and night-long negotiations with the district administration to avoid a forcible arrest.
The police and his supporters had clashed on Monday after the administration tried to arrest him. Tension mounted on Tuesday when around 10,000 policemen were rushed to Sisauli for his arrest and hundreds of his supporters cordoned off the area, setting the stage for a showdown.'I made a mistake'
Indicating an end to the standoff between him and the district authorities for the last three days, Tikait said his utterances against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati were 'a mistake'.
"I consider this (alleged castiest remarks against Mayawati) a mistake. It was a slip of tongue. It is human to commit a mistake," he told media persons in Muzaffarnagar just before he surrendered.
On the moves of the state government, he said: "All this happens... someone who cannot face this will feel pressure. I have a lot of endurance."
Tikait also urged the farmers to remain peaceful and get back to their work in their fields.