It has been a tragic Sunday for those participating in the peaceful farmers’ protest that is now in its 11th month. Four farmers are reported to have been killed when they were run over allegedly by Ashish Mishra, the son of Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Ajay Mishra ‘Teni’. Eight persons, including four occupants of the vehicle(s) that allegedly ran over the farmers were killed in the violence, said Arun Kumar Singh, Additional Superintendent of Police, Lakhimpur Kheri told the media.
Ashish Mishra, aka Monu, has been accused by the farmers, of running his car over a group of protesting farmers on Sunday in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri. Four farmers were killed on the spot, one was allegedly shot. The deceased farmers have been identified as Lovepreet Singh, Nachattar Singh, Daljeet Singh, and Gurwinder Singh, many more have been injured, say various farmers groups.
The farmers were protesting with other farmers against the three farm Laws at a dharna near Tikunia, which is Union Minister Ajay Mishra’s paternal village in Lakhimpur Kheri. According to reports the protest was ahead of an event were Uttar Pradesh Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya was to be the chief guest. The demonstration farmers had planned to “show flags to the deputy chief minister” and had also reportedly “staged a demonstration in front of ‘Monu’ aka Ashish Mishra’s car when he was going to receive Keshav Prasad Maurya.” This is when the Union minister’s son allegedly “ran his car over the protesting farmers” stated the farmers. Horrific videos of the badly injured farmers fighting for their life are also circulating, in which some other farmers calling for help can be heard mentioning that “Monu ran over the victims”.
Later on Sunday night, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) held an emergency press conference and confirmed that a “convoy of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, reportedly of his son, uncle and other goons,” had run over the protesting farmers. Apart from the four confirmed dead, the SKM said over ten others were injured. The SKM has demanded that the Union MoS Ajay Mishra “should be dismissed immediately,” and that Sections 302 IPC be imposed on the MoS, his son and others responsible for the horrific “attack.”
The farmers union called out the speech of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar where he is heard encouraging his volunteers “to pick up lathis and attack farmers”. The SKM “severely condemns the BJP CM’s violent intent and demands that he apologize immediately, and resign from his constitutional post”. The farmers union has also claimed that one of the victims may have been “shot dead by MoS Ajay Mishra Teni’s son, Ashish” and the others Mishra, while the others have been allegedly run over by vehicles in Lakhimpur Kheri. Various farmers leaders, including Rakesh Tikait are reported to be on their way to the spot, while the union has given a call that farmers across the country hold peaceful demonstrations on Monday, October 4 and hand over memorandums demanding that the accused be arrested and the politicians allegedly involved be removed from their posts.
The union has named “BJP’s Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra Teni, his son, his uncle” and added that “one of the farmers was shot dead by the son of the Union MoS Ajay Mishra Teni, Ashish (Monu) Mishra.” They added that the injured included “Terai Kisan Sanghatan’s leader, and SKM leader Tajinder Singh Virk.”
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha demanded that BJP leaders should “stop provoking farmers” and urged the farmers to “continue their protests peacefully as they have done till now.” According to the SKM, “Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Mr Ajay Mishra Teni had issued an open threat to farmer leaders in a public meeting recently. The brutal attack on farmers is reported to have happened as the farmers were dispersing and leaving from the protest site. Mr Teni’s son, uncle and other goons are then reported to have run over the protestors who had lined up on the roads with black flags.”
What did Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar say?
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar thought it was a good idea to tell his followers to “give it back (jaise ko taisa)” and start their own ‘kisan unions’. He told them in effect to counter the peace where many thousands of farmers have camped on various Delhi borders, beaving tough climatic conditions demanding that the three farm laws be taken back. It has been over 10 months now, that the protests have carried on non strop, as have smaller protests marches, picketing, sloganeering against government policies and acts, across the country, especially in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Utatrakhand and other places beyond the national capital region. He encouraged his followers to pick up their big sticks and ‘give it back” and assured them that even if they went to jail for a while they would come back as big leaders. “Uthalo lath” he said, as heard in the video clip that has since gone viral.
This is Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar giving a solution to the farmer’s agitation:
Encourage “new” kisan unions
Raise 500-700 members
Let them “give it back” to agitating farmers
“Uthalo lath” (armed with lathis)
“If they go to jail, on their return they wd be big leaders” pic.twitter.com/S2fYqxzd6X
— Chitleen K Sethi (@ChitleenKSethi) October 3, 2021
Soon his official communication department said that the Haryana CM had asked “progressive farmers” to be made a part of a state sponsored “cell” that will become “trainers” for others and even be given a separate amount for this.”
Haryana CM, @mlkhattar said that a Cell of progressive farmers should be constituted in the State and they should be honoured as well. These progressive farmers would act as trainers & would give training to 5 farmers every year. They will be given a separate amount for this.
— Aditya Chaudhary (@hrypr) October 3, 2021
Dr AshokDhawale, President, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) was one of the first to condemn Khattar’s call to “BJP-RSS goons to pick up lathis and beat up farmers in the historic struggle. This is a shameless and criminal incitement to violence.”
The AIKS strongly condemns BJP Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar call to BJP-RSS goons to pick up lathis and beat up farmers in the historic struggle. This is a shameless and criminal incitement to violence. The AIKS demands Khattar’s immediate resignation and strict legal action.
— Dr. Ashok Dhawale (@DrAshokDhawale) October 3, 2021
The SKM called out Khattar’s call “encouraging (BJP-RSS) volunteers to pick up lathis and attack farmers… “ and said this made it “clear where officials like Ayush Sinha get their impunity from. While the farmers’ movement has explicitly made peace and non-violence as its values, it is clear that the government is acting with murderous intent on its own citizens.” The SKM condemned “the BJP CM’s violent intent and demands that he apologize immediately, and resign from his constitutional post.”
लखीमपुर घटना के बारे संयुक्त किसान मोर्चा की मांगे
1. केंद्र सरकार केंद्रीय राज्य गृह मंत्री अजय मिश्र टेनी को तुरंत बर्खास्त करें
2. मंत्री के बेटे आशीष और उसके साथी गुंडों पर तुरंत 302 (हत्या) का मुकदमा दर्ज हो और इसकी जांच सुप्रीम कोर्ट की निगरानी में उत्तर प्रदेश से बाहर हो
— Kisan Ekta Morcha (@Kisanektamorcha) October 3, 2021
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath directed Assistant Director General (ADG) Prashant Kumar to go to Lakhimpur Kheri. According to a report in India Today / AAj tak, DGP Mukul Goyel said “All the districts adjoining Lakhimpur have been put on high alert. Instructions have been given to keep a close watch on any type of activity” adding that “additional police force was also being sent to Lakhimpur Kheri’s Tikunia” and that “IG Range Lucknow Laxmi Singh and ADG Law and Order will camp in Lakhimpur.”
BKU leader Rakesh Tikait told the media that he was on his way to Lakhimpur Kheri as well, while Gurnam Singh Chaduni of BKU (Chaduni) also called for a protest in Tikunia.
लखीमपुर खीरी में हुई घटना बहुत ही दुखद है। इस घटना ने सरकार के क्रूर और अलोकतांत्रिक चेहरे को एक बार फिर उजागर कर दिया है। किसान आंदोलन को दबाने के लिए सरकार किस हद तक गिर सकती है, सरकार और सरकार में बैठे लोगों ने आज फिर बता दिया। लेकिन
— Rakesh Tikait (@RakeshTikaitBKU) October 3, 2021