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SKM Begins 3-Day Dharna in Lakhimpur Kheri, Demands Sacking of MoS Ajay Mishra

The farmer union also demanded the implementation of the MSP and the withdrawal of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill.

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Edited By :Padmashree Pande

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella organisation of several farmer bodies, launched a 75-hour dharna in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri on Thursday, 18 August.

The SKM listed a number of demands, such as the sacking of Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni and the release of four farmers imprisoned amid the violence that had broken out in the district in October 2021 during a protest against the three farm laws.

The minister's son, Ashish Mishra, is one of the accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, in which his car which had run over protesting farmers, killing several among them.

The farmers have also demanded the implementation of Minimum Support Price (MSP) as a legal guarantee and the withdrawal of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill from Parliament.

Farmer bodies from Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, and Rajasthan, among others, are also participating in the dharna.

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"BKU national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait, national organisation secretary Bhudev Sharma and some other prominent leaders arrived here on Wednesday for the dharna," district president of Bharatiya Kisan Union-Tikait (BKU-Tikait) Dilbagh Singh Sandhu was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

The farmers had left from Punjab on Wednesday for Lakhimpur Kheri to demand Teni's ouster from the government.

Lakhimpur Kheri District Magistrate Mahendra Bahadur Singh had earlier denied permission to the SKM to conduct the protest.

Lakhimpur Kheri Violence

Eight people, including four farmers, were killed in Lakhimpur Kheri amid the violence that had erupted when farmers protested against UP Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya's visit to the area in October 2021.

Ajay Mishra was reportedly in one of three SUV's which had run over several farmers amid the protests, killing at least four of them and a journalist.

Mishra was imprisoned for four months before being granted bail by the Allahabad High Court. However, the Supreme Court had overturned the high court's decision and ordered Mishra's incarceration once again in April this year.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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