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Why Has Culprit Not Been Arrested? Priyanka Gandhi on Viral Lakhimpur Video

BJP leader Varun Gandhi asked for the arrest of the owners of the vehicles and the people sitting inside them.

Updated
India
4 min read

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is currently in custody, on Tuesday, 5 October, took to Twitter to post a video of herself, in which she played a video, allegedly of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, and asked PM Narendra Modi why the son of the minister in his government, who allegedly crushed the protesting farmers on Sunday, 3 October, had not been arrested.

"This video shows the son of a minister of your government trampling farmers under his car. Watch this video and answer the country as to why the minister has not been suspended, why his son has not been arrested?" she said.

She also shared the video on her Twitter account and asked PM Modi if he had seen the video and why she has been kept in custody for over 24 hours.

"You have kept Opposition leaders like me in custody without any order or FIR. I would like to know why this man is moving around freely?"

"Remember, this country got independence thanks to our farmers. Even today, their sons are safeguarding the country on various borders. They have been protesting for months but you have not paid heed to their demands. I request you to come to Lakhimpur. Try to understand the pain of the 'ann-daata' and soul of this country. Listen to them. Their security is your responsibility. It is the responsibility of the constitution on which you took an oath. Jai Hind, Jai Kisan!"

"Sir, your government has kept me in custody for the last 28 hours without any order and FIR. Yet, this person who crushed our food donors has not yet been arrested. Why?" she said in another tweet.
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What Does the Video Show?

Eight people, including four farmers were killed at Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri after being run over allegedly by BJP minister Ajay Mishra's son Ashish Mishra on Sunday, 3 October. Gandhi, who was on her way to meet kin of farmers who had died on Sunday, was arrested on Monday morning, 4 October, according to Congress' youth wing national president Srinivas BV.

The video, which multiple politicians shared on their respective Twitter accounts, shows an SUV purportedly ramming into protesting farmers from behind, confirming statements of the farmers, who claimed that it had caught them without warning.

It can be seen in the video, how farmers fall to the ground as one SUV hits them, while another with its sirens blaring is being driven behind.

However, The Quint has not verified the video independently, and so far, the vehicle's driver has not been identified.

The video has since gone viral and a slew of political leaders from various parties have shared it and called out PM Modi and the Yogi Adityanath-led UP government. We look at some of the reactions.

BJP's Varun Gandhi Asks For the Arrest of the Vehicle Owner

BJP leader Varun Gandhi asked for the arrest of the owners of the vehicles and all the people sitting inside them.

"This video of deliberately crushing farmers with vehicles in Lakhimpur Kheri will shake anyone's soul. Police should take cognisance of this video and immediately arrest the owners of these vehicles, the people sitting in them, and other persons involved in this case," he tweeted.

What Other Politicians Said

Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh took to social media and tweeted in Hindi, "Do you still need any proof after this? See how in the arrogance of power, the goons trampled the farmers under their car, while some channels were claiming that the minister's son ran to save his life."

Meanwhile, the Congress party said that the "silence from the Modi government" made them "complicit".

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Background

Upset over a recent speech by Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra, farmers, on Sunday, 3 October, protesting in Tikonia area of Kheri tried to block Mishra and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya from visiting.

Farmers had claimed that the alleged violence broke out only after a car from the minister’s convoy mowed down farmers. Moreover, they have alleged that Mishra’s son, Ashish Mishra, is the one who was driving the car.

Meanwhile, though the Uttar Pradesh Police filed a First Information Report (FIR) against Ashish Mishra for murder, the minister and his son have maintained that he was not present at the spot and was not driving the car.

Moreover, he claimed in an interview, "It's not correct that the Fortuner mowed down farmers. The truth is that our workers went to receive the Honourable Deputy Chief Minister. The Thar SUV that was in the front was attacked with sticks and stones. The driver Hari Om was injured or may have died in that attack. The car lost its balance and overturned. That's how these two people who are being called farmers must have been injured”, NDTV reported.

As compensation for the ‘incident’, the government has promised to pay Rs 45 lakh to the families of those who died and Rs 10 lakh to those who were injured. The state government announced that a retired judge will investigate the matter.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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