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Tikait demands sacking of MOS Mishra, arrest of all accused; warns of nationwide agitation

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Lakhimpur Kheri (UP): BKU leader Rakesh Tikait on Wednesday demanded the resignation of Union minister Ajay Mishra and the arrest of all accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, warning that a nationwide agitation will be launched if authorities failed to implement within a week the agreement made with the farmers here.

Tikait, who is among the prominent leaders of the agitation against the Centre’s agri laws, had brokered the agreement between the authorities and the farmers on October 4 here, after which they had ended their protest and the families of the four deceased farmers had agreed to their post-mortem.

After reaching an understanding, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar, in the presence of Tikait, had informed of the government’s decision to give Rs 45 lakh each to families of the victim farmers and set up a judicial probe under a retired High Court judge.

“Our protest has not ended. We will wait till eight days since the agreement and if the demands are not fulfilled a nationwide agitation would be launched,” Tikait told reporters at a Gurdwara in Lakhimpur city  on Wednesday.

The deadline coincides with the 10th-day Antim-Ardas ceremony (post-death ritual) in the Sikh community.

An FIR under section 302 of IPC (murder) has already been registered against the union minister’s son Ashish Mishra and others in the incident in Tikonia police station.

Tikait said the pact with the government was reached after consulting the victims’ families and farmers, and everybody had expressed “satisfaction” over it.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha leader had reached the incident site in the wee hours on Monday, after four farmers were mowed down by an SUV when they were agitating against the visit of deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya for a function in the union minister’s native place on  October 3.

Besides the four farmers, two BJP workers, the minister’s driver and a local journalist were also killed in the violence.

On Tuesday, Tikait visited the family of  Gurvinder Singh, one of the four dead farmers, in Bahraich and backed their demand for a second post mortem which the government agreed to, and his last rites were performed this morning.

The mortal remains of the other three farmers were cremated on Tuesday.

“How can he (minister Mishra) remain a Union minister of Home Affairs when his own son is facing such a serious charge?

”The minister himself has been named in the FIR for his alleged role. For an unbiased probe in the matter, the Centre must sack the minister,” BKU media in-charge Dharmendra Malik told PTI.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), a major participant in the protests against the three central agri laws, also demanded the arrest of the minister’s son Ashish alias Monu Mishra.

“His son should be arrested immediately. We have asked that both these demands be met within seven days, otherwise, the BKU will stage a massive demonstration in Uttar Pradesh to seek justice,” Malik added.

A faction of BKU workers and supporters led by their national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait is currently staying put in Lakhimpur Kheri, which has now become the epicentre of the turf war among political parties in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.

Mishra’s son Ashish is the only named accused in the FIR lodged at the Tikoniya police station in the district. Besides him, 15-20 other “unidentified persons” are mentioned as accused in the FIR.

However, the minister has refuted the allegations of his son’s involvement in the episode that took place near his native Banbirpur village.

Meanwhile, Mishra on Wednesday attended the office in Delhi and met with Union Home Minister Amit Shah for the first time since a murder case was registered against his son on Sunday.

Mishra is understood to have briefed Shah about the Sunday incident in his home district of Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh.

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