Farmer leaders assembled on Monday at Tikunia in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, to mark the first anniversary of the violence that resulted in the death of eight people, including four farmers. They renewed their demand for the sacking of Union Minister and Kheri’s Lok Sabha member Ajay Mishra Teni.
The farmer leaders alleged that the ruling dispensation was responsible for the delay in justice and vowed to fight. The families of the victims are still struggling, said Rakesh Tikait, a leader of the Bharatiya Kisan Union.
“In August, we organised a protest and put our demand forward, but nothing happened. The Minister needs to be sacked immediately. We will keep fighting for justice against the autocratic regime,” he said.
An ‘Akhand Path’ was organised in the memory of the victims at Kaudiyala Ghat Gurudwara in Tikunia.
Eight people, including a journalist and four farmers, were killed on October 3 last year in Lakhimpur Kheri. It is alleged that vehicles belonging to Union Minister and Lok Sabha member Ajay Mishra Teni’s convoy mowed down four farmers who were protesting against Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s visit. It was also alleged that the Minister’s son Ashish Mishra was involved. In the subsequent violence, two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers and a driver were also allegedly killed by an angry mob.
The deaths sparked outrage and political leaders, including Indian National Congress (INC) U.P. in-charge Priyanka Gandhi, were detained when she was enroute to the spot. In July 2022, the Allahabad High Court rejected Ashish Mishra’s bail plea in the case. The court said that if granted bail, there was a possibility that the accused may influence the witnesses.
The farmer organisations had held a 75-hour-long protest at Mandi Samiti ground in Lakhimpur Kheri demanding justice for the victims in August, under the banner of Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella forum of more than 40 farmer unions.