At least eight people were killed on Sunday as violence broke out after a car owned by the son of Indian union minister of state for home affairs rammed into a procession organised to protest against farm bills.
It prompted protests by highly charged mob of farmers, who set ablaze vehicles, pelted stones in Tikonia area of Lakhimpur district in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. While four farmers were killed after allegedly being hit by a convoy, four people who were travelling in one of the vehicles were beaten to death, according to reports in Indian media.
The vehicle of union minister Ajay Mishra’s son Monu was burnt along with few others by the agitated mob.
Hundreds of farmers in Lakhimpur were marching towards Banvirpur locality where the Deputy Chief Minister of UP, K.P. Maurya was to arrive to address a meeting of party workers in the area.
The farmers were protesting three contentious farm laws enacted by the central government last year.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath said the state government will conduct an in-depth probe into the reasons behind the incident, and will expose those behind it. He called the incident unfortunate, according to a statement from the chief minister’s office.
जनपद लखीमपुर खीरी में घटित हुई घटना अत्यंत दुःखद एवं दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण है। @UPGovt इस घटना के कारणों की तह में जाएगी तथा घटना में शामिल तत्वों को बेनकाब करेगी व दोषियों के विरुद्ध सख्त कार्रवाई करेगी।
— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) October 3, 2021
Reacting to the incident, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said: “We will not let this sacrifice go in vain – Kisan Satyagraha Zindabad.”
जो इस अमानवीय नरसंहार को देखकर भी चुप है, वो पहले ही मर चुका है।
लेकिन हम इस बलिदान को बेकार नहीं होने देंगे- किसान सत्याग्रह ज़िंदाबाद!#FarmersProtest pic.twitter.com/z1NRlGJ8hq
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 3, 2021
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee termed the incident “barbaric”. She said that a delegation of five Trinamool Congress MPs will visit the families of the victims on October 4.
I strongly condemn the barbaric incident in Lakhimpur Kheri. The apathy of @BJP4India towards our farmer brethren pains me deeply.
A delegation of 5 @AITCofficial MPs will be visiting the families of the victims tomorrow. Our farmers will always have our unconditional support.
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) October 3, 2021
Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel said he will visit Lakhimpur Kheri on Monday.
उत्तर प्रदेश में किसानों के साथ जो वहशी व्यवहार हुआ वह अक्षम्य है।
किसान हूं। किसान का दर्द समझता हूं।
इन कठिन परिस्थितियों में उनके साथ खड़े होने के लिए कल सुबह लखीमपुर जाउंगा।
— Bhupesh Baghel (@bhupeshbaghel) October 3, 2021
The Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) also condemned the incident.
The farmers’ protest against the Modi government’s farm laws has been surprisingly resilient. Protests began nearly a year ago in Punjab and they have been going on at Delhi’s borders.