Lakhimpur Kheri incident: Farmers hold protest at Delhi’s Singhu border
New Delhi: Farmers at Delhi’s Singhu border held a protest on Monday to express their anger over the incident at Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh where four farmers lost their lives during violent clashes a day earlier.
Farmers carrying black flags held the protest along the stretch of the agitation site at the Singhu border from 10 am to 1 pm.
“The protest was to express our anger over what happened in Lakhimpur Kheri, and to put forward or demands — to suspend Union minister Ajay Kumar Mishra, to arrest those responsible under section 302 of IPC, and for the government to offer compensation to the families of the farmers who died,” said farmer leader Abhimanyu Kohar.
Two FIRs were registered a day after clashes claimed the lives of eight people, including four farmers allegedly run over and four people in a convoy of BJP workers who were lynched, the incident propelling Lakhimpur Kheri as a new flashpoint in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.
UP’s Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Awanish Kumar Awasthi said the state government will give Rs 45 lakh each and a government job at the local level to the family members of the four farmers killed in Lakhimpur.
“FIR has been lodged against several persons, including Minister of State for Home, Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra,” Awasthi told PTI in Lucknow.
“From the latest reports that we have received, an FIR has been registered against the culprits, and we have been told that the entire matter would be investigated by a retired high court judge.
“We have also been told that the families of the farmers who died would be given Rs 45 lakh worth of compensation, and those injured would receive Rs 10 lakh,” said Avtar Mehma, another farmer leader.
Similar protests were held at the district headquarters in other parts of the country including Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Karnataka, the leaders claimed.
Reacting to reports that Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi was denied permission to visit Lakhimpur Kheri, farmer leader Yogendra Yadav tweeted, “Preventing leaders of the opposition, including former CM of UP and the sitting CMs of other states from meeting the farmers shows that UP govt has something to hide.”
“These draconian measures are becoming a pattern in BJP ruled states & only reflect the insecurity of the BJP(sic),” he added.
The Lakhimpur Kheri incident comes ahead of the farmers’ protest against the three contentious farm laws completing a year next month.
Thousands of farmers from different parts of the country have been camping at the Delhi borders since November 26 last year, demanding the repeal of the three new farm laws.
While the farmers have been expressing fear that the laws would do away with the Minimum Support Price system, leaving them at the mercy of the corporations, the government has been projecting them as major agricultural reforms.
Over 10 rounds of talks between the two parties have failed to break the deadlock.