Lakhimpur Kheri: Punjab CM Channi’s helicopter denied landing permission in UP

The Yogi Adityanath-led government has not allowed Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi to land in Uttar Pradesh in state government chopper.

Channi on Monday vowed to visit Lakhimpur Kheri “in solidarity with bereaved families of farmers,” even as the UP government stopped Opposition leaders from entering the anti-farmer violence-hit district where 8 people, including 4 farmers, died yesterday.

“Expressing solidarity with bereaved families of farmers, I am leaving for Lakhimpur Kheri to be with my brothers and sisters in this hour of grief. I have also sought permission from the UP government to allow landing and taking off of chopper at the site,” Channi tweeted.

“As you are aware that due to the situation arising out of the incident and deaths of peacefully protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri of Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister wants to visit the concerned families to be with them in this hour of grief,” the Punjab government’s Civil Aviation director said in the letter to UP Additional Chief Secretary Awanish Awasthi.

Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) has been imposed and internet services have been suspended in the area following the protests against the killings of farmers. The order imposing the section 144 says that nobody from Punjab should be allowed to enter the Lakhimpur Kheri area. 

Reports say Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has left for Lakhimpur by road after he was denied permission to disembark at Lucknow airport. He is accompanied by MLAs Kuljit Singh Nagra, Kulbir Singh Zira, Barindermeet Singh Pahra, Parminder Singh Pinki, Kuldeep Singh Vaid, and Angad Singh Saini.

Punjab opposition parties, the Aam Aadmi Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal, also announced that they would be sending delegations to Uttar Pradesh.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday announced that a high-level delegation of the party, led by senior leader Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, will visit Lakhimpur Kheri.