The Uttar Pradesh government on Monday announced that a retired High Court judge will investigate the violence that erupted in the state’s Lakhimpur Kheri district on Sunday, PTI reported.
Eight people, including four farmers, died in the violence that broke out during a protest against the Centre’s new agricultural laws.
Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Awanish Awasthi, also announced that the state government will give compensation of Rs 45 lakh and a government job to the families of the four farmers who died. He added that the government will give Rs 10 lakh to those who sustained injuries in the violence.
After the announcements, farmers who had been protesting against the violence decided to call off their agitation and cremate the four bodies, according to NDTV.
On Monday morning, a postmortem examination was conducted on the bodies of the four farmers, Kheri Chief Medical Officer Shailendra Bhatnagar told The Indian Express. The bodies of the four other deceased persons will also be sent for an autopsy examination, he said.
The police had earlier filed a filed information report against Ashish Mishra, the son of Union minister Ajay Mishra, and several others in connection with the violence.
Farmers have said a vehicle belonging to Ashish Mishra had run over a group of protestors, killing four people. However, Mishra claimed that farmers threw stones at the vehicle, which led to the accident.
Mishra also told The Indian Express that the four others died after being “attacked by assailants armed with swords and sticks who were among the farmers”.
The Congress has, however, called for Mishra’s dismissal from the Union government, and demanded the arrest of his son.
The developments came on a day when the Supreme Court took cognisance of the case, and said it will decide if the right to protest is an “absolute right”. The court questioned why the farmers were protesting when it had suspended the implementation of the three agricultural laws.
The three contentious farm laws were passed by the government in September 2020, which sparked off protests by farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh that have continued to rage ever since.
In January, nearly two months into the farmer protests, the Supreme Court had suspended implementation of the farm laws.
Corrections and clarifications: This article has been edited to say that eight people were killed during the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri. An earlier version said that the toll was nine. The error is regretted.