Press Trust of india

Cong describes Lakhimpur probe as ‘paper work’, asks why MoS home son not arrested yet

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New Delhi: The Congress Tuesday dubbed as “paper work” the probe into the Lakhimpur Kheri violence and asked why the son of a union minister accused of mowing down farmers has not been arrested yet and the minister dismissed.

Congress leader and former law minister Ashwani Kumar also asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not meet the families of the eight people who died in the Lakhimpur incident even though he was in Lucknow Tuesday for an ‘Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav’ event.

Kumar also questioned the detention of leaders like Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who, he said, sought to share the grief of the affected families.

Kumar said human life cannot be measured in monetary terms after the government announced a compensation of Rs 45 lakh each to the affected families. He also dismissed the “compromise” reached between the farmers and authorities.

“We feel only paper work has been done to try and suppress the anger of people. But this anger cannot be suppressed and history is witness to this,” he told reporters.

“The prime minister is in Lucknow today. It was only to be expected that when a tragedy of such colossal nature has taken place, he meets the aggrieved families and the families of those who have lost their lives. But that has not happened,” Kumar said.

He accused the government of indifference and insensitivity in dealing with the incident and said the Congress expresses its “shock and disgust” over the administration’s response.

“How is it that a cavalcade of cars driving at full speed mows down eight innocent citizens of our country and the only concrete response is the announcement of a Rs 45 lakh compensation? Human life cannot be measured in monetary terms.

“What is the guarantee that the probe announced is going to lead to a speedy and just decision in the case. So far, it seems as if a paper response has been given in order to bid time,” he asked.

Kumar alleged the governments in Uttar Pradesh and at Centre are trying to rub salt on the wounds of people instead of putting balm.

He wondered how cases have been slapped against those who are there to express solidarity and grief with the affected families, while it is being said that those who mowed down people were not even present there.

This, he said, even when there are videos going viral of the mowing down of farmers. “Such a democracy is not going to run anymore.”

“The response of the Central government in not asking the union minister of state for home affairs to not resign and the response of the UP government in not arresting the person who is guilty and is shown to be guilty in a viral video. It is the central question. These questions are now in the people’s court,” the Congress leader said.

Kumar said it has been brought out in the media that the real reason behind what transpired at Lakhimpur was the “cocking of the snook by the union minister of state (Ajay Kumar Mishra) for home against the farmers, threatening them that he will teach them a lesson and that they are a bunch of hooligans who are not aware of the reality.”

“All of this had built up a kind of tense atmosphere and despite that the minister chooses again to cock a snook at the poor, agitating and aggrieved farmers.

“This kind of arrogance of power and this kind of insensitivity is incompatible with the dignitarian values of our Constitution,” he said.

He alleged that those in power have destroyed evidence in UP in the past and this can happen this time too.

The Congress feels that the people of the country are awake and will express their anger when the time comes, he noted, demanding that the truth should come out and the falsehood demolished.

“I must ask, Do I or do not I have the right to stand in solidarity with those who are aggrieved. Do I have the right as a human being to empathise with another person in his time of grief? Do I have the right to discharge my political duties as a leader of a political party? Do I have a right to express my deep sympathies with another fellow citizen?” he said, noting these are fundamental questions that are being asked.

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