New Delhi: At least eight people including four farmers and three BJP workers were killed in the violence that erupted in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur-Kheri after the farmers protesting against the state government were allegedly attacked.
The farmers were protesting against the state government ahead of a visit to Lakhimpur by Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya.
A group of unidentified persons allegedly opened fire at the farmers. Some of the farmers were reportedly even run over by a vehicle. Following this, the angry farmers retaliated by setting two SUVs on fire.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed grief over the incident called it unfortunate.
“Chief Minister had expressed grief in the Lakhimpur incident. He called the incident very unfortunate. Uttar Pradesh government will investigate the matter in detail and will take strict actions against the culprits,” read an official statement by UP government.
Meanwhile, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha has claimed that one of the farmers was shot dead by MoS Home Ajay Mishra Teni’s son Ashish Mishra. They have demanded a murder case to be filed against Ashish Mishra.
However, the minister refuted the allegations saying that his son was not present at the site at the time of the incident. He said he had video evidence to back his claim.
“My son wasn't present at the spot. There were miscreants who attacked workers with sticks and swords. If my son would've been there, he wouldn't have come out alive. They've killed people and set cars on fire. We have video evidence,” MoS Home Teni was quoted as saying by ANI.
Blaming the protesting farmers for the commotion, Teni said his car came under attack as miscreants started stone pelting that hurt his driver.
“During Lakhimpur Kheri visit, our workers came to receive us amid farmers' protest. Some miscreants from agitating farmers started stone pelting on car and injured our driver. Due to this, our car got imbalanced and two people died coming under it. After this, our three workers were killed and cars were set on fire,” Teni said.
The incident has stirred a massive political storm with the opposition parties coming down heavily on the BJP, holding them responsible for the incident.
The Congress, Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Rashtriya Lok Dal were among the parties that condemned the attack on farmers while demanding the probe and strict action against the accused.
Some parties, including the Congress, also demanded immediate sacking of Ajay Kumar Mishra, following SKM’s allegation that his son was involved in the incident.
Calling the incident barbaric, West Bengal Chief Minister said a delegation of five TMC MPs will meet the families of the victims on Monday.
Reacting to the violence, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said those who remain silent even after the incident in Lakhimpur Kheri are already dead and underlined that the sacrifice of farmers will not go in vain.
While Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra announced that she will visit Lakhimpur Kheri tomorrow. On Twitter, she asked if farmers had the right to live in this country. "How much does BJP hate the farmers of the country? Don't they have the right to live? If they raise their voice, they will be shot or crushed under a car. Enough. This is a country of farmers not the fiefdom of BJP's brutal ideology," she said on Twitter.