The opposition parties also accused some of the BJP leaders of making provocative statements and questioned the "silence" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah on the issue.
A day after a violence unfolded at a protest site killing eight people, including four farmers, in Lakhimpur Kheri, the Uttar Pradesh government announced that a retired High Court judge will probe the case. It also announced Rs 45 lakh compensation for the kin of the farmers killed in the incident, while Rs 10 lakh will be given to those injured in the violence.
“An agreement has been reached with the farmers. The government will give Rs 45 lakh to the family members of the four farmers who were killed in the violence on Sunday. Besides, one member from their families will be given a government job at the local level,” he said.
“The government will give Rs 10 lakh to the injured and get the incident probed by a retired High Court judge,” , said Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Awanish Awasthi, said. Two FIRs have been registered in connection with the violence so far.
On Sunday, eight people were killed in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri after a convoy of three SUVs, including one owned by Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra, hit a group of anti-farm law protesters, leading to a clash. Mishra’s son Ashish was driving one of the SUVs, claimed the protesters.
On Monday, a number of opposition leaders attempted to visit Lakhimpur Kheri district to meet the victims’ families, only to be stopped midway by the UP police, leading to protests and detentions. Following this, the BJP government in the state was accused of “throttling democracy” and “trying to cover up the incident” by the Opposition. The opposition parties also accused some BJP leaders of making provocative statements and questioned the “silence” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah on the issue.
Congress demands dismissal of Ajay Mishra as MoS, his son’s arrest
The Congress demanded the immediate dismissal of Ajay Mishra as Union Minister of State for Home and the arrest of his son who has been named in an FIR registered by the Uttar Pradesh Police.
“We demand that Union minister Ajay Mishra should be immediately dismissed from his post and his son arrested forthwith. We also demand that the minister should be booked for the same offence as his son as he is trying to protect him,” news agency PTI quoted Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel as saying.
The party also demanded enhanced compensation of Rs one crore for each of the farmers killed.
Priyanka Gandhi on ‘hunger strike’ following detention
The Congress sought immediate release of the party’s general secretary Priyanka Gandhi who was detained by the police on her way to meet the families of farmers killed in the violence and claimed that she even sat on a hunger strike following her detention. “The BJP government is doing the politics of crushing the farmers and finishing them,” she wrote on Twitter.
“Today’s incident shows that this government is using politics to mow down farmers. This is the farmers’ country, not BJP’s… I’m not committing any crime by deciding to meet the victims’ kin…Why are you stopping us? You should have a warrant,” the Congress leader said after being detained in Sitapur around 5 am.
Visuals of Gandhi lashing out at police personnel for misbehaving with her and her colleagues were also doing the rounds.
As she started her dharna (hunger strike) in a PAC guest house in Sitapur, Congress leaders protested outside and raised slogans against the BJP-led state government over her “arrest”. State party leaders, including spokesperson Akhilesh Singh, swept the road outside the campus of the 2nd battalion of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) during the agitation. A 42-second video released by UP Congress spokesperson Vikas Srivastava showed Priyanka Gandhi too sweeping a room in the guest house.
Punjab chief minister, Deputy CM denied permission to visit Lakhimpur Kheri
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and his deputy Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa were denied permission to visit Lakhimpur Kheri by the Uttar Pradesh government. The government cited imposition of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which prohibits the assembly of more than five people, as reason behind the refusal.
The state’s Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who holds the home portfolio, was also detained by UP police at Saharanpur border.
The Punjab Civil Aviation Director had written to the Uttar Pradesh authorities seeking permission for landing of the CM’s chopper at Lakhimpur Kheri, a spokesperson said. However, the Uttar Pradesh Secretary (Home) informed the Punjab Civil Aviation Director that it is not feasible to grant the permission to the chief minister and his deputy keeping in view the law and order situation, the official said.
‘Hathras model’: Oppn accuses Yogi govt of trying to cover up
Opposition parties slammed the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh for not allowing their leaders to visit Lakhimpur Kheri violence site, alleging it was an attempt to cover up the incident.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said that democracy was being “throttled” while AAP’s chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj termed it the “Hathras model” and alleged that both state and central governments are trying to cover up the violence.
“Clearly, it’s Hathras model. Both the state government and the Union government are attempting to hush up and cover up the incident of Lakhimpur Kheri violence,” AAP Saurabh Bharadwaj said in a press conference at the party headquarters in Delhi. The AAP leader also stated that his party will launch a nationwide protest against the violence.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, who was also detained from outside his residence in Lucknow where he staged a sit-in after being stopped from visiting Lakhimpur Kheri district, accused the BJP of “colluding” with killers. “Vehicles are being run over those who raise their voices. We want the arrest of the minister and his son in the Lakhimpur incident,” PTI quoted Yadav as saying.
Punjab CM submits memorandum to PM through Governor
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, along with his cabinet colleagues, submitted a detailed memorandum on vital farmers’ issues to Prime Minister Narendra Modi through Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit at Raj Bhawan Monday, urging him to impress upon the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure justice to the Lakhimpur Kheri victims’ families.
The Chief Minister, in the memorandum, also reiterated the need to urgently review and repeal the three farm laws which has caused resentment amongst the farmers. Channi said that the recent incident of violence at Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh has “shaken the conscience of one and all”.
Killing Raj is going on in UP, instead of Ram Rajya as promised by govt: Mamata Banerjee
Lashing out at the BJP governments at the Centre and Uttar Pradesh over the death of the farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed “autocracy” is prevailing in the country while “killing Raj” is going on in UP.
“What is going on in the country is not democracy but autocracy. Farmers were brutally butchered, and they (BJP) didn’t want the truth to come out. That is why they have imposed Section 144 (CrPC) there. People will impose Section 144 on them in the days to come. They are stopping delegations from visiting the locals there,” news agency PTI quoted her as saying after her visit to a Gurudwara in Bhabanipur constituency. “Killing Raj is going on, instead of Ram Rajya as promised by them (the state govt),” she reiterated.
Lakhimpur Kheri violence: SC says nobody takes responsibility of such incidents
Nobody takes the responsibility when such incidents happen, the Supreme Court said Monday when Attorney General K K Venugopal referred to the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
While hearing a plea by a farmers’ body, protesting against the three contentious farm laws and seeking directions to authorities to allow it to stage ‘satyagrah’ at Jantar Mantar, an SC bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and C T Ravikumar said: “We have seen the unfortunate incident which has taken place yesterday at Lakhimpur Kheri… When such events happen, nobody takes the responsibility,” the bench said.
Venugopal told the bench that when the validity of the three agriculture laws has already been challenged before the court, the protests should stop.
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