Lakhimpur Unrest: Priyanka Gandhi Meets Kin of Slain Farmers in Bahraich
On Wednesday, a Rahul Gandhi-led Congress delegation had met the kin of two farmers and journalist Raman Kashyap.
Priyanka Gandhi on Thursday, 7 October, met the families of farmers who lost their lives in the Lakhimpur unrest on Sunday.
Gandhi visited the kin of slain farmers Gurvinder Singh and Daljeet Singh in Bahraich, and expressed her condolences.
"They're demanding justice. MoS Home should resign from his post and accused should be arrested," she was quoted as saying by news agency ANI, after the meeting.
On Wednesday, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi, along with Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, had met the families of slain farmer Lovepreet Singh and journalist Raman Kashyap.
The Congress delegation, which also included Randeep Surjewala, Deepender Singh Hooda, KC Venugopal, and Congress UP unit chief Ajay Kumar Lallu, first visited the home of the 19-year-old farmer Lovepreet in Palia tehsil of the district, where they spent around half an hour and offered condolences.
They then left to meet the family of slain journalist Raman Kashyap in Nighasan tehsil. The leaders also met the family of Nachatar Singh, a 55-year-old farmer from Dhauraha tehsil, who, too, lost his life on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Sachin Pilot was reportedly detained in Moradabad while on his way to Lakhimpur on Wednesday.
As many as eight people, including four farmers, had died in Lakhimpur on Sunday. An FIR under the charges of murder and rioting has been filed against the son of Union Minister Ajay Teni Mishra, who was allegedly driving the car that had run over three farmers in Lakhimpur. A new video purportedly of the incident has also surfaced showing an SUV ramming into protesting farmers from behind.
“They spoke to us and expressed their condolences. They promised us that they will help us get justice. Justice will only happen if the minister resigns and his son is arrested. Several days have passed, but no arrests have been made despite videos showing what happened,” Lovepreet’s father Satnam Singh was quoted as saying by the daily.
Surjewala later took to Twitter and said: "Today in Lakhimpur Kheri, Mr Rahul Gandhi and Mrs Priyanka Gandhi met late Lovepreet's mother, father and both sisters and expressed their condolences. The family also narrated all the agony and also showed the wounds inflicted by the oppressive government," he said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi's delegation had been halted at Lucknow airport, after the leader refused to leave amid a heated stand-off with airport security personnel.
As per a report by NDTV, Gandhi was asked to travel in a government-provided vehicle. However, he refused to be escorted.
Speaking to the security, he had asked, "Who are you to arrange my transport? I want to leave in my car."
NDTV had quoted the leader as saying, "They are up to some mischief. Cent percent."
After the exchange, the delegation had left for Lakhimpur on Wednesday afternoon.
Before proceeding to Lakhimpur Kheri, the Congress leaders first stopped at the PAC guesthouse in the Sitapur district to pick up Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who had been under house arrest since Monday.
Earlier, while addressing a press conference, Rahul Gandhi said, "BJP-RSS controlling all institutions in the country. India is no longer a democracy. Today, we have a dictatorship. Opposition leaders can't go to Uttar Pradesh. The voice of India is being crushed."
"We want to go there. They are only stopping us. They have allowed other parties to go there. TMC and Bhim Army were allowed to go. I want to know and see what is the ground reality. Nobody is aware of that as of now. My goal is to go and meet the families of the people who have been killed," Gandhi had said.
The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday, 5 October, had denied permission to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to visit Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri on Wednesday, in view of Section 144 of the CrPC imposed in state capital Lucknow.
The due permission had been granted by the government on Wednesday.
(With inputs from NDTV, ANI and The Indian Express)
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