Farmer leaders on Saturday called for a “rail roko” demonstration on October 18 to protest against the Lakhimpur Kheri violence that broke out on October 3. They also demanded the arrest of Union minister Ajay Mishra and his son Ashish Mishra, PTI reported.
Eight people, including four farmers, were killed in violence during a protest against the Centre’s new agricultural laws on October 3 at Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh. Farmer bodies have alleged that a vehicle which was part of Ajay Mishra’s convoy ran over the protestors. They have claimed the vehicle belonged to Ashish Mishra.
Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait on Saturday said that protestors will stop trains between 10 am and 4 pm on October 18.
Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav also requested civil society organisations to organise candle light marches across the country at 8 pm on October 12 to register their protest against the violence.
Yadav added that on October 15, the day of the Dussehra festival, the organisation will burn effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah in protest against the violence in Uttar Pradesh.
Protesting farmers will also hold a “huge mahapanchayat” in Lucknow on October 26, Yadav said, NDTV reported.
Yadav demanded that Ajay Mishra should be removed from the Union Cabinet, and alleged that he was protecting the culprits in the Lakhimpur Kheri case.
Ashish Mishra has been booked on multiple charges, including murder and criminal conspiracy, in connection with the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri.
Three people who were in the vehicle had also died in the violence. Two of them were reportedly BJP workers while the third person was said to have been employed by Ajay Mishra as a driver.
Meanwhile, Tikait on Saturday said that the alleged killing of the BJP workers was a “reaction to an action”, ANI reported. He claimed that there was no planning involved in the deaths, and therefore it does not amount to murder.
Yadav said that the Samyukta Kisan Morcha has expressed grief about the loss of all the lives, including of the BJP workers. “It was unfortunate and we hope justice is done,” he said, according to PTI.
The protests that Samyukta Kisan Morcha has planned over the next two weeks are part of a larger demonstration seeking the withdrawal of the farm laws passed in September 2020. Thousands of farmers have been protesting at Delhi’s border entry points since November 2020 for this demand.