Opposition parties across the political spectrum on Sunday slammed the BJP and demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident at Lakhimpur Kheri where protesting farmers were allegedly crushed by a vehicle in which the son of the Minister for State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra Teni was travelling.
Opposition parties demanded Mr. Mishra’s resignation and several leaders planned to visit the area on Monday for a ground assessment of the situation.
‘Register murder case’
The Congress also demanded that the U.P. administration register a case of murder against Mr. Mishra’s son and all those others who were responsible for Sunday's incident.
“Managed to have a short conversation with Tejinder Singh Virk ji, who was grievously injured in the incident in which BJP people crushed protesting farmers. In view of the serious nature of his injuries, the Uttar Pradesh government should provide him the best possible treatment. And the Chief Minister should immediately resign,” former U.P. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav tweeted.
While Congress' general secretary Priyanka Gandhi already left for Lakhimpur Kheri from Lucknow to meet the farmers, the Samajwadi Party announced that Mr. Yadav would visit the area.
There is also talk that former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi could also visit the area while a visit by Rashtriya Lok Dal's Jayant Chaudhary is also expected.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) also announced that a local-level delegation would be there. Party’s general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra was also allegedly put under house arrest after he declared he was leaving for Lakhimpur Kheri.
Hate for farmers
“Those who remain silent even after seeing this inhuman massacre are already dead. But we will not let this sacrifice go in vain — ‘Long live Kisan Satyagraha’,” Mr. Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi using the hashtag ‘Farmers Protest’.
Violence broke out after two vehicles allegedly ran over a group of anti-farm law protesters who were demonstrating against the visit of Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya at Tikonia-Banbirpur road in Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday.
Mr. Maurya was visiting Banbirpur, the native village of union minister, Mr Mishra, when the incident reportedly took place.
“How much does BJP hate the farmers of the country? Don't they have the right to live? If they raise their voice, they will be shot or crushed under a car. Enough. This is a country of farmers not the fiefdom of BJP’s brutal ideology. Farmers agitation will be strengthened further and their voice will be louder,” Ms. Vadra tweeted.
“The incident in which several farmers, who were protesting against the three farm laws, crushed by a vehicle, that belonged to the son of a Union Minister, is unfortunate. This displays the dictatorial and cruel face of the BJP,” BSP chief Mayawati tweeted, adding, “The Supreme Court should take suo moto notice of the incident.”
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee said: “I strongly condemn the barbaric incident in Lakhimpur Kheri. The apathy of @BJP4India towards our farmer brethren pains me deeply....A delegation of 5 @AITCofficial MPs will be visiting the families of the victims tomorrow. Our farmers will always have our unconditional support.”
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged, “The [Narendra] Modi government has become so thirsty for the blood of farmers that the son of the Minister of State for Home Affairs trampled so many farmers under his car. From Karnal to Lakhimpur Kheri, their regime has unleashed a reign of 'terror'. The images are gruesome but show the truth of the BJP.”
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel will be visiting Lakhimpur Kheri on Monday.