Lakhimpur Kheri: SKM's 'rail roko' protest today; train movement could be hit
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body for multiple farmers unions, has called for a rail roko agitation on Monday, demanding the removal of the Union minister Ajay Mishra Teni over the alleged involvement of his son in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in Uttar Pradesh. The six-hour-long nationwide 'Rail roko' agitation will begin at 10am and go on till 4pm.
As many as eight people, including four farmers, were killed on October 3 after two SUVs mowed down a group of protesters in Lakhimpur Kheri's Tikunia village. The SKM has alleged that the Union minister's son Ashish Mishra was sitting in one of the vehicles which ran over farmers. However, the minister has denied allegations and claimed that his son was not present was not at the site when the incident occurred.
"It is very apparent that with Ajay Mishra being the MoS for Home Affairs in the Union Government, justice cannot be secured in this matter," the SKM stated in a statement issued on Sunday. "He promoted hatred, enmity and communal disharmony between Hindus and Sikhs in his speeches. It is his vehicles that were used to mow down peaceful protestrrs. He harboured his son and accomplices even as the police were issuing summons to Ashish Mishra," it added.
The group has also assured that the agitation will be staged "peacefully, without any destruction and damage of any kind to any railway property." The movement of trains is also likely to be impacted during the time of the agitation.
Ashish Mishra was arrested and sent to jail by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on October 9. However, he has still maintained that he was not in the car at the time of the incident.
The Lakhimpur Kheri violence case gave opposition parties ammunition to target the Uttar Pradesh government. They claim that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government of Yogi Adityanath is trying to shield the culprits.
The opposition parties including Congress have also criticised the state government for not removing the Union minister despite son's arrest.
In a meeting on Saturday, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying "the brutal mowing down of farmers is a manifestation of the continuing arrogance."