At least eight people, including farmers, died on Sunday, 3 October, after clashes erupted in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh, as demonstrations against the Centre's three farm laws were underway.
The farmers died after being allegedly run over by the car of Ashish Mishra, son of Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra.
Farmer leaders on Sunday claimed that at least five of the deceased were farmers. The others, sources say, were the occupants of the car that allegedly ran over them.
Video Producer: Naman Shah
Video Editor: Ashutosh Bhardwaj
What Exactly Happened
The farmers had gathered in Tikunia to register their protests against the three farm laws ahead of an event where UP Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya was to be the chief guest.
Thousands of protesting farmers had occupied the helipad at Maharaja Agrasen Sports Ground, where the Deputy CM's helicopter was initially supposed to land. Due to the gathering, Keshav Prasad Maurya changed his plans and reached Lakhimpur at noon by road instead.
As per reports, Ashish Mishra reached the site to receive the deputy CM where farmers had gathered to protest when clashes erupted. After Mishra's car allegedly ran over three farmers, dozens of protestors set fire to two vehicles that injured farmers.
The protestors have accused the BJP leader's convoy of crushing protestors with their vehicles, which left several others injured.
Reacting to the incident, Samyukta Kisan Morcha leader, Dr Darshan Pal has demanded that Ashish Mishra and others in the car be arrested immediately and Ajay Mishra resign from his post in the Union Cabinet.
Farmer leader, Rakesh Tikait is also on his way to Lakhimpur Kheri. Tikait issued a statement on the violence, stating that the farmers were returning from the protest.
"The returning farmers were attacked by vehicles and were fired at. As far as we know, many people have lost their lives and we are now leaving for Lakhimpur."Rakesh Tikait, BKU leader.
'Inhumane Massacre': Rahul Gandhi, Others React
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to condemn the brutality, stating that the sacrifice would not go in vain, while expressing his support for the Kisan Satyagraha.
As per sources, Priyanka Gandhi is expected to visit Lucknow on Monday, 4 October, and may meet the protesting farmers.
Bihar Leader of Opposition (LoP) Tejashwi Yadav also took to Twitter to condemn the incident. "The cruelty in Lakhimpur Kheri cannot be forgiven," he wrote.
Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi also expressed her thoughts on the incident, calling the incident "saddening and depressing".
Rashtriya Lok Dal President Jayant Chaudhary tweeted about the incident, holding the Union Minister's convoy responsible.
SKM Demands Registering Murder Cases
In a press release, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha condemned the "brutal and inhumane attack", demanding that murder cases be imposed against the MoS and his convoy, warning Uttar Pradesh's BJP leaders to stop "provoking farmers".
"SKM severely condemns the BJP CM's violent intent and demands that he apologise immediately, and resign from his constitutional post."
Calling for Mishra's immediate dismissal, the SKM added that as per their knowledge, one of the deceased farmers "was shot dead by the son of the Union MoS Ajay Mishra Teni".
It further identified one of the injured as SKM leader Tajinder Singh Virk.