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6 dead in violence during farmers’ protest in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri

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Farmers to stage stir outside DM offices across country on Monday

Lakhimpur Kheri (UP):  Six people were killed as violence erupted here during a farmers’ protest over Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s visit, administration sources said.

Two SUVs were set on fire by angry farmers, reports said, after they hit a group of protesters.

Four of the dead were travelling in the vehicles and the remaining two were farmers, sources said.

The violence broke out after two SUVs allegedly ran over over a group of anti-farm law protesters, who were demonstrating against the visit of Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya at the Tikonia-Banbirpur road here.

Angry protesters allegedly forced the two vehicles to stop and set them on fire. They also allegedly thrashed some passengers.

The farmers had assembled there to oppose Maurya’s visit to Banbirpur, the native village of Union minister of state for Home and MP Ajay Kumar Mishra.

Several journalists were also reported to have sustained injuries in the incident.

In view of the violence, Maurya’s visit to Banbirpur village has been cancelled.

Meanwhile, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) has called for a protest outside the offices of district magistrates and divisional commissioners across the country on Monday over two SUVs allegedly running over protesters at Lakhimpur Kheri, farmer leaders Yogendra Yadav and Darshan Pal Singh said on Sunday.

They also demanded a probe into the incident by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court and not by the Uttar Pradesh administration.

“To express our agitation against Sunday’s incident, the SKM calls for a protest outside the offices of district magistrates and divisional commissioners across the country between 10 am and 1 pm,” Singh said.

The farmer leaders alleged that Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Kumar Mishra’s son was in one of the SUVs.

“We demand that Union Minister of State for Home and Khiri MP Ajay Kumar Mishra be immediately dismissed from his post. A case under section 302 (punishment for murder) of the IPC should be registered against the minister’s son and other goons,” Singh and Yadav said at a virtual press conference.

They claimed that at least four farmers were killed in the incident and appealed to the protesters to maintain calm.

The SKM, an umbrella body of over 40 farm unions, is spearheading a protest at Delhi’s borders against three agriculture laws of the Centre.

Union Minister Ajay Mishra on Sunday said that three BJP workers and a driver were beaten to death by “some elements” in the protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh after a car in which they were travelling turned turtle following pelting of stones.

Mishra told PTI over the phone that two farmers had died after coming under the car.

The Union minister of state for home said neither his son nor he was present at the site when the incident occurred.

He said the incident happened when some BJP workers were going to receive UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya who had come to attend an event at Lakhimpur Kheri.

“Some elements in farmers, who were protesting, showed black flags and pelted stones on the car which turned turtle. Two farmers came under the car and died.

“Three BJP workers and the driver of the car were beaten to death by some people present there,” he said, adding he was on his way to get their postmortem done.

Mishra said his son was not present at the spot as alleged by some farmer leaders and he has photographic and video evidence to prove it.

“My son was present at the venue of the (deputy chief minister’s) event and thousands of people, officers of the administration and police were present there. All through, I was accompanying the deputy chief minister,” he said.

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