Lakhimpur : Farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, who have been protesting over Sunday’s violence, have called off the protest from Ground Zero and decided to cremate the dead after the government announced compensations for the dead and the injured.
The government has promised to pay a compensation of ₹ 45 lakh to the families of those who died. The injured will receive a compensation of ₹ 10 lakh. A retired judge will investigate the matter, the government has said.
A murder case has been filed against Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son, Ashish Mishra, who, the farmers alleged, was driving one of the three vehicles that mowed down the protesters, which triggered the violence. The protesters were trying to stop the visit of the Union Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya.
Ashish Mishra, has refuted accusations that he was part of the convoy. “I was not in the car. I was at my family home in Banwirpur village where a wrestling match was being organised. I was there from the morning till the end of the event,” he told.
After a meeting with the police this morning, the farmers agreed to cremate the bodies of the four people who were allegedly mowed down by the car. Several others were injured. Four others – a journalist and three BJP workers – died in the violence that followed.
Opposition leaders supporting the farmers have been stopped from visiting the area. The state government has requested the Lucknow airport authority not to allow the arrival of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Punjab’s Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder S Randhawa.
Several other leaders including Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu were also blocked from visiting Lakhimpur Kheri. Congress’s Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who was arrested while on way to Lakhimpur Kheri, said she was manhandled by the police. She questioned why she was arrested when the minister’s son, who is accused of running over protesting farmers, is roaming free.
The incident in Lakhimpur Kheri had ripples in the Supreme Court, where the farmers had appealed for permission to hold protests in the heart of Delhi.
Representing the government, Attorney General KK Veugopal said, “There should be no further protests to prevent unfortunate incidents like the one in Lakhimpur Kheri yesterday”. The court questioned why the farmers are continuing their protest since it has already put a freeze on the farm laws.