Cong seeks appointment with Kovind over Lakhimpur violence, later deletes tweet
The Congress party on Sunday tweeted that it has sought an appointment to meet President Ram Nath Kovind to present to him a “memorandum of facts” regarding the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh, where eight people were killed, including four farmers and a journalist. The party deleted the post shortly after.
Ashish Mishra, son of junior home minister Ajay Kumar Mishra, was arrested by Uttar Pradesh police on Saturday after he was accused of being part of the convoy that ran over the farmers when they were returning after a demonstration. He is in judicial custody and a local court will decide on Monday whether he should be sent to police custody.
“The shocking incident of broad daylight massacre of farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri has shaken the conscience of the entire nation. A delegation of the Congress party headed by Shri Rahul Gandhi seeks an appointment with the honourable President, on priority, to present to him a detailed memorandum of facts,” the Congress party had posted on its Twitter handle, sharing an image of its letter addressed to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The delegation will include leaders such as KC Venugopal, AK Antony, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, as well as Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, according to the letter dated 9 October.
The social media team of the party did not immediately respond to a query on the deletion. A Congress leader on the condition of anonymity said there are still discussions over meeting the President.
The Congress has attacked the government for not acting on the killings that took place on October 3 when farmers returning from a demonstration against Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya were run over, killing four of them. Two workers of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a driver of minister Mishra and a local journalist were killed in the resulting melee, taking to toll to eight.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Congress Rajya Sabha parliamentarian Deepender Hooda tried to reach the spot, but were detained in Sitapur before they could reach the violence-hit district. They were arrested shortly after.
A day later, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, along with Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi, met the families of the slain farmers. The chief ministers announced financial compensations for the families, and the kin of the journalist, Raman Kashyap.
The Supreme Court has expressed dissatisfaction at the way in which investigations into the violence were being conducted. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana asked the Uttar Pradesh government to direct its state police chief to ensure evidence in the case is protected till the time another investigative agency takes over.