The Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh reported a horrific incident on Sunday, October 3, where four farmers were killed after a convoy of three SUVs, including one owned by the Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Kumar Mishra, ran over them.
Violence ensued after the incident, which claimed four more lives in the car that allegedly crushed the farmers. The people at the spot also set two cars on fire.
Mishra, his son, Ashish Mishra Teni, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Maurya and others were visiting the district but were stopped in the middle of the road by farmers who staged protests against the three controversial farm laws. Following this, a murder case was filed against Ashish and several others.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath called the incident unfortunate and assured taking cognisance of the matter, Hindustan Times reported. The government imposed Section 144 in the district after the clash.
'A Massacre': Outrage Among Citizens, Activists
The visuals of the incident were widely circulated on social media, creating outrage among citizens. Opposition party members came out in support of the deceased and demanded stringent against the ministers and his associates.
Activists in Bengaluru staged a protest demanding justice for the people killed in the clash.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that anyone who did not raise his voice after witnessing this 'inhumane massacre' was already dead.
Opposition Members Detained
After the incident, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, MP Dependra S Hooda, left to visit the victims' families, but the police personnel stopped and detained them in Sitapur.
In a video clip that has gone viral, Priyanaka can be seen asking the team for a legal warrant for detention and the basis on which she and she and Hooda were being detained.
"I am not important than the people you have killed. The government you are defending. You give me a legal warrant, a legal basis or else I will not move from here, and you won't touch me," she can be heard saying.
Reportedly, she was arrested in Hargaon on Monday, October 4.
Later, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, who staged a sit-in protest against the violence outside his residence in Lucknow, and was on his way to Lakhimpur Kheri, was also arrested by the police.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel in a video condemned the incident and questioned the UP government on prohibiting people from visiting the district. "Why are people being stopped from visiting Lakhimpur Kheri? Section 144 has been imposed in Lakhimpur Kheri then why isn't one allowed to land in Lucknow? Do people no longer have rights in UP? Does one need a visa to visit UP?," NDTV quoted Baghel as saying.
Reportedly, AAP and Trinamool Congress party members will be visiting thee the families of the victims on October 4.
Farmers Call For Nationwide Protest
The farmers have called for a nationwide protest outside district magistrate offices across the country offices on Monday, October 4.
Farmer's union Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), has demanded that murder charges be slappedagainst Mishra and others. They said the case must be heard by the Supreme Court and not the Uttar Pradesh administration to ensure justice