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Govt mowing down farmers: Priyanka reaches Lakhimpur Kheri, says not allowed to meet victims’ families

Farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri alleged that Union minister of state for home and lawmaker Ajay Kumar Mishra Teni’s son was in one of the vehicles, a charge denied by both Mishra and his son.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said she was stopped from going to Lakhimpur. (ANI File Photo)
Published on Oct 04, 2021 05:59 AM IST
Byhindustantimes.com | Written by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra reached Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh early on Monday where eight people were killed as violence broke out after a car hit protesting farmers on Sunday. Priyanka Gandhi, who reached Lucknow on Sunday night with party leader Deepinder Singh Hooda, earlier alleged that police tried to stop her from going there. “Smt. Priyanka Gandhi has entered #Lakhimpur, and along with other congress leaders will meet Martyrs family soon,” the Congress party tweeted.

The Congress party's media platform later tweeted that Priyanka Gandhi was been arrested and taken from Hargaon to Sitapur Police Line.

According to officials, the four farmers were killed after allegedly being hit by a convoy and four people, who were travelling in one of the vehicles, were beaten to death in Lakhimpur Kheri. The violence was reported minutes before Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya was to visit the area, they added.

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Also read | Farmers to protest outside DM offices across country today against Lakhimpur incident: SKM

On her way to Lakhimpur Kheri, Priyanka said if the government uses force against her, then it shows they have lost morality. "I have not come out of my home to commit any crime. I am only going to meet the aggrieved families and wipe their tears. What wrong am I doing? And if I am doing anything wrong, you should have a warrant," she said. She also said in Hindi her vehicle was stopped and that when she called an official, “he is hiding.” If he is doing the right thing, then why is he hiding," she said in the video.

Also watch | Political blame game after minister's convoy kills farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri

"The way in which farmers are suppressed, no words can explain it. For the past many months, farmers are raising their voices, that wrong is being done to them, but the government is not willing to listen to them. Today's incident proves that the government is indulging in the politics of suppressing farmers. This is the country of farmers and it is not the fiefdom of the BJP. The land has been irrigated by farmers," she added.

On Saturday, Priyanka Gandhi—the Congress general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh—tweeted about the violence on Lakhimpur Kheri. “How much hatred BJP harbours against farmers in the country? Don’t they have a right to live? If they raise their voices, then you will open fire on them? Run them over by vehicles?” “Enough is enough...This is the country of farmers and not a fiefdom of BJP ideology... Farmers’ satyagraha will get stronger, farmers’ voices will get louder,” she added.

Also read | 'Won’t let this sacrifice go in vain’: Rahul on farmers’ death in Lakhimpur

Farmers alleged that Union minister of state for home and lawmaker Ajay Kumar Mishra Teni’s son was in one of the vehicles, a charge denied by both Mishra and his son. The farmers were protesting three contentious farm laws enacted by the central government last year.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella group of farm unions spearheading the agitation against the three farm laws, has called for protests outside the offices of district magistrates and divisional commissioners across the country on Monday over the incident. It also demanded a probe into the incident by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court, and not by the Uttar Pradesh administration.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who called the incident unfortunate, said the state government will conduct a probe into the reasons behind the violence and will expose those behind it. The Uttar Pradesh police’s additional director general (law and order) Prashant Kumar said forces were deployed in large numbers in Tikonia, about 70km from district headquarters of Lakhimpur Kheri. Internet services have been partially suspended in the district, officials said.

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