Viral Video Appears To Show Car Mowing Down Farmers at Lakhimpur Kheri
Samyukta Kisan Morcha demanded the immediate arrest of Ashish Misra and his accomplices.
Eight people, including four farmers were killed at Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri after being run over allegedly by BJP minister Ajay Misra's son Ashish Misra on Sunday, 3 October.
A new video has surfaced, showing an SUV purportedly ramming into protesting farmers from behind, confirming statements of the farmers, who claimed that it had caught them without warning.
The Quint has not verified the video independently and so far, the driver of the vehicle, has not been identified.
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.
Upset over a recent speech by Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Misra, farmers, on Sunday, 3 October, protesting in Tikonia area of Kheri tried to block Misra and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya from visiting.
Farmers had claimed that violence broke out only after a car from the minister’s convoy mowed down farmers. Moreover, they have alleged that Misra’s son, Ashish Misra, is the one who was driving the car.
Meanwhile, though the Uttar Pradesh Police filed a First Information Report (FIR) against Ashish Misra 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.
'Demand Ashish Misra's Immediate Arrest': SKM
A press release by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, the umbrella body of over 40 farmer unions leading the farmers' protest against BJP government's agricultural laws, acknowledged the incident and demanded the immediate arrest of the Minister's son and his accomplices.
The farmer body claimed in its statement that eyewitness accounts reveal that Ashish Misra was indeed driving the 'Thar' responsible for mowing down the protestors.
The SKM also pushed for the dismissal of the Union Minister Ajay Mishra and Haryana CM Khattar.
"The morality or lack of it, of the present Government already stands fully exposed. SKM will soon announce a program of action for getting these main demands met, and the agitation will not be called off until then," the press release.
Further, the press release went on to express condemnation towards the arrest of SKM leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni on Monday, and challenged the "undemocratic and authoritarian behaviour" of the UP government.
It read, "SKM condemns the attempts of UP government to prevent people from Punjab to come to Lakhimpur Kheri, and asks UP government to withdraw its letter to Punjab Government Chief Secretary with regard to the same."
Meanwhile, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu echoed SKM's demands, wrote on Twitter:
(With inputs from NDTV)
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