Tikait warns of nationwide stir if minister’s son not arrested within time frame

We will wait till eight days since the agreement and if the demands are not fulfilled a nationwide agitation would be launched, says BKU leader
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait addressing a press conference in Lakhimpur Kheri on Wednesday. (HT Photo)
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait addressing a press conference in Lakhimpur Kheri on Wednesday. (HT Photo)
Updated on Oct 07, 2021 04:52 AM IST
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By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Lakhimpur Kheri

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Wednesday demanded the resignation of Union minister of state for home Ajay Kumar Mishra and warned of a nationwide agitation if all the accused in the Lakhimpur incident, including the minister’s son Ashish Mishra, were not arrested within a time frame.

Tikait said his agitation against the “killing of five farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri” had not ended yet. He included Nighasan journalist Raman Kashyap among the deceased, saying “he is a farmer first, irrespective of his profession.”

Tikait, who is among the prominent leaders of the agitation against the Centre’s agri laws, had brokered the agreement between the authorities and the farmers on October 4 here, after which they had ended their protest and the families of the four deceased farmers had agreed to their post-mortem.

After reaching an understanding, ADG of police (law and order) Prashant Kumar, in the presence of Tikait, had informed of the government’s decision to give 45 lakh each to families of the victim farmers and set up a judicial probe under a retired high court judge.

“Our protest has not ended. We will wait till eight days since the agreement and if the demands are not fulfilled, a nationwide agitation would be launched,” Tikait told reporters at a Gurdwara in Lakhimpur city. The deadline coincides with the 10th-day Antim Ardas ceremony (post-death ritual) in the Sikh community.

An FIR under section 302 of IPC (murder) has already been registered against the union minister’s son Ashish Mishra and others in the incident in Tikonia police station.

Tikait said the pact with the government was reached after consulting the victims’ families and farmers, and everybody had expressed “satisfaction” over it.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha leader had reached the incident site in the wee hours on Monday, after four farmers were allegedly mowed down by an SUV on October 3.

On Tuesday, Tikait visited the family of Gurvinder Singh, one of the four dead farmers, in Bahraich and backed their demand for a second post mortem examination, which the government agreed to, and his last rites were performed this morning.

The mortal remains of the other three farmers were cremated on Tuesday.

“How can he (minister Mishra) remain a Union minister of home affairs when his son is facing such a serious charge? For an unbiased probe in the matter, the Centre must sack the minister,” said BKU media in-charge Dharmendra Malik.

The BKU leader said the three others, who were killed in the violence, fell to mob fury. “When 4-5 people were killed and 15 to 20 got injured after being mowed down, the furious mob expressed their anger,” he added.

When asked about minister Ajay Kumar Mishra’s statement that he and his son were not on the crime spot on Sunday, Tikait said: “The minister is defending himself. He is an accused under Section 120B and must resign.”

Tikait said gunshots were fired during Tikonia violence and there were videos to substantiate that.

On the agitation against the three farm laws, the BKU leader said: “The agitation would continue till the repeal of these laws and enactment of law on minimum support price (MSP).” Inputs from agency

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Thursday, October 21, 2021