A Congress delegation led by party leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday met President Ram Nath Kovind to demand justice for the families of the farmers killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence on October 3.
The delegation demanded the dismissal of Union minister Ajay Mishra, whose son Ashish Mishra is an accused in the violence case.
Eight people, including four farmers, were killed during a protest against the Centre’s farm laws in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district on October 3. Farmer bodies have alleged that a vehicle belonging to Ashish Mishra.
After the meeting, Gandhi briefed the media about the discussions with the president. The politician said that the party wants Ajay Mishra to be removed from his position as Union minister so that a fair investigation can be conducted, ANI reported.
“We also demanded an inquiry be done by two sitting judges of Supreme Court,” Gandhi added.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who was also a part of the delegation, said Kovind promised them that he would discuss the matter with the Union government.
In a letter to Kovind, the Congress delegation said Ajay Mishra, at an event in September, had “openly threatened” protesting farmers. “Mend your ways otherwise we will make you mend them,” the minister had reportedly said.
The Congress asked how justice could be done if the “original provocation” for the violence came from the minister himself.
“This deliberate act of murder, in broad daylight, followed by the audacious reactions of state and central governments has completely eroded the people’s faith in those tasked with bringing the perpetrators to justice,” Congress added.
The Uttar Pradesh Police had arrested Ajay Mishra’s son n October 9, a day after the Supreme Court said it was not satisfied with the steps taken by the state government in the investigation of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
On Monday, a court sent Mishra to police custody for three days.
Congress leader KC Venugopal had said that despite protests and the Supreme Court’s intervention, no decisive action has been taken either against Ashish Mishra or the Union minister, reported PTI.
Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said that a lot of politics was happening around in the Lakhimpur incident. He said that Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were trying to project themselves as the “champions of Dalits”.