Farmers protesting in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri Sunday were run over by a convoy of vehicles associated with a Union Minister of State Ajay Kumar Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra. Three farmers have lost their lives in the incident, leaders of Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmers said.
“It is reported that one of the farmers was shot dead by the son of the Union Mos Ajay Misra Teni, Ashish (Monu) Misra. At least two other farmers were killed in the incident (one on a spot and another in a hospital) and around ten others injured seriously,” read the statement by SKM.
Famers’ leader Tajinder Singh Virk was also left injured.
“In Lakhimpur Kheri’s Tikunia area, farmers were protesting peacefully. The Union Minister of State’s son ran his car over them. In the incident, several farmers are injured and some have died,” Samyukta Kisan Morcha spokesperson Jagtaar Singh Bajwa said.
Bajwa went on to say: “This is proof of the authoritarian government of India. That people do not have the democratic right to protest peacefully.”
Rakesh Tikait, one of the prominent leaders of the ongoing historic farmers’ movement, has left Ghazipur to reach Lakhimpur Kheri to take stock of the situation
Tikait said: “The farmers who were protesting were returning when they were attacked by cars. They were fired at. Several people have died as per information till now. I am going to Lakhimpur Kheri from here and will update you. I will reach around midnight and will go among the farmers there.”
According to a Quint report, farmer leaders claimed that five farmers have died after Ashish Mishra ran his car over them.
ND TV quoted Dr. Lalit Kumar, the medical officer of the district hospital in Lakhimpur Kheri, and reported that two persons were dead on arrival and one seriously injured. “No postmortem has been conducted. They want the Union’s go ahead,” Kumar said.
Reacting to the incident, Samyukta Kisan Morcha leader, Dr Darshan Pal has demanded that Ashish Mishra and others in the car be arrested immediately and Ajay Mishra resign from his post in the Union Cabinet.
The farmers had gathered in Tikunia to register their protests against the three farm laws ahead of an event where UP Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya was to be the chief guest.
Union Minister Ajay Mishra was on a visit to the area when the violence against farmers broke out. The farmers decided to block their visits over Mishra’s recent speech in which he has brushed off the protests, saying it was a protest of “10-15 people and it would take just two minutes to make them fall in line”.
Thousands of protesting farmers had occupied the helipad at Maharaja Agrasen Sports Ground, where the Deputy CM’s helicopter was initially supposed to land. Due to the gathering, Keshav Prasad Maurya changed his plans and reached Lakhimpur at noon by road instead.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to condemn the brutality, stating that the sacrifice would not go in vain, while expressing his support for the Kisan Satyagraha.
Rashtriya Lok Dal President Jayant Chaudhary tweeted about the incident, holding the Union Minister’s convoy responsible.