Eight people were killed, including four farmers, in violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday after two SUVs allegedly ran over some farmers protesting the state’s Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s visit to Banbirpur, the hometown of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra.
“Four farmers and four others were killed in the conflict,” said Arvind Chaurasia, DM of Lakhimpur Kheri.
Farmers claimed the Union minister’s son was in one of the vehicles, which Mishra rejected.
Three BJP officials and a driver were beaten to death by “certain elements” among the protesting farmers after a car in which they were traveling turned turtle after being pelted with stones, Mishra told PTI over the phone.
While UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath convened an emergency meeting to review the situation, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha claimed that one of the SUVs was being driven by Mishra’s son, an allegation the minister flatly denied, claiming that his son was not present. The incident was dubbed a plot by the minister, who claimed that specific demonstrators threw stones at the vehicles, causing them to crash.
On Monday morning, protests started, with members of the Samajwadi Party and other opposition groups taking to the streets.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was arrested last night on her route to the Uttar Pradesh region of Lakhimpur Kheri, which has been devastated by unrest and is being held in Sitapur, around 90 kilometers from Lucknow.
Priyanka Gandhi was held by authorities on her way to Lakhimpur Kheri to meet with the family of farmers killed in violence on Sunday.
When police encircled her vehicle in Sitapur late last night, Priyanka Gandhi wanted to see a warrant.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot denounced the decision to prevent Congress’ Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and others from visiting the relatives of farmers killed in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, saying that unlawful arrest of opposition leaders is against democratic values.
Mr. Gehlot said that the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government had barred Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister SS Randhawa from visiting the state.
“Only a dictatorial administration has the power to do so. Is the ruling BJP in Uttar Pradesh trying to put an end to democracy? In this regard, civil rights violations run counter to the spirit of the Constitution “he stated
Varun Gandhi, a BJP MP, said a murder case should be brought under IPC section 302 against those responsible for the deaths of farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri, adding that protesting farmers should be treated with caution and patience.
Meanwhile, Govt. of Punjab wrote to the Additional Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh to seek permission for the CM of Punjab to visit the concerned victim families,
However, responding to the letter Uttar Pradesh Chief secretary to not allow anyone from the state to visit the disputed area where section 144 Crpc has being imposed.