Akhilesh Yadav put under ‘house arrest’ in Lucknow ahead of his visit to Lakhimpur Kheri
Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav was put under house arrest on Monday ahead of his scheduled visit to Lakhimpur Kheri to meet families of victims who were killed in a violence that broke out in the district a day ago.
A large number of policemen were deployed outside the former chief minister’s residence in Lucknow. Atul Pradhan a Samajwadi Party leader said Yadav was "house arrested" late last night.
On Sunday, Yadav had demanded chief minister Adityanath Yogi’s resignation over the brutal clashes that led to death of eight, including four farmers, following a protest over blocking deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s visit to Banbirpur village.
In a tweet in Hindi, Yadav wrote running over farmers who were peacefully protesting the farm law (three new central farm laws) by the son of a Union minister of state was inhuman and cruel. “UP will not tolerate atrocities by arrogant BJP members...and if this state of affairs continue then in UP BJP members will not be able to travel in vehicles or get out of them,” he added in the tweet.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, who reached Lakhimpur Kheri early on Monday, to meet the aggrieved families, was arrested in Hargaon, her party leader BY Srinivas wrote on Twitter. She had earlier alleged police were trying to stop her from going to the village.
Gandhi had reached Lucknow late on Sunday night with party leader Deepinder Singh Hooda.
The UP government has barred most political leaders from visiting Lakhimpur Kheri. So far, among the known faces only Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait has been able to make his way to the restive district.
Internet services have also been partially banned in the district after the incident.
In a tweet, Tikait had said on Sunday the farmers were attacked when they were returning after staging a protest against the Centre’s new farm laws. He also alleged that people in the convoy had opened fire.
A local police officer said the violence broke out minutes ahead of Maurya’s visit to Banbirpur village under Tikonia police station limits. He said the incident took place on Tikonia-Banbirpur road when the farmers, who were agitating against the new farm laws and had blocked the road to oppose the deputy CM’s visit, got infuriated after two SUVs reportedly belonging to BJP workers hit them, leaving a number of farmers seriously injured.
He said the farmers in retaliation overturned and set on fire two SUVs, besides thrashing people in the convoy.
Union minister of state Ajay Mishra Teni has refuted allegations that his son Ashish Mishra was driving the vehicle that allegedly ran over the protesters in Lakhimpur Kheri.
(With inputs from bureau)