Uttar Pradesh Law Minister Brajesh Pathak on Wednesday met the families of two people who were killed in the violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district on October 3.
Pathak met the families of Shubham Mishra, a Bharatiya Janata Party worker, and Hari Om Mishra, the driver of a car in Union minister Ajay Mishra’s convoy.
The minister said that he visited the families to offer his condolences and assure them that a fair inquiry would be conducted into the case, reported The Indian Express.
“Families had some demands, including for a weapon licence as there is a security threat,” he said. “I promised them that it would be looked into as per the norms.”
Four farmers – Gurvinder Singh, Lavpreet Singh, Daljit Singh and Nakshatra Singh – were also killed in Lakhimpur Kheri during the violence along with journalist Raman Kashyap and Shyam Sunder Nishad, another BJP worker.
Farmer organisations have alleged that a vehicle belonging to Ashish Mishra, the son of Union minister Ajay Mishra, had been in the vehicle that ran over those protesting against the Centre’s three new farm laws.
Pathak is the first state minister and senior BJP leader to visit Lakhimpur Kheri after the violence, The Indian Express reported. But he did not meet the families of the four farmers, Kashyap and Nishad.
The minister said he will meet the families of the other victims “once the situation normalises”, The Indian Express reported.
Guru Sevak, the brother of deceased farmer Gurvinder Singh, said the minister should visit the grieving families to share their sorrow and not for politics, the newspaper reported. “If he [Pathak] wants to come, he should remove his party’s flag and come,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Opposition pointed out that the BJP leader was late in visiting the families. “This [Uttar Pradesh] government protects criminals and such visits, 10 days after the incident, shows that they have no intention of ensuring justice for the victims,” Ajay Kumar Lallu, the chief of Congress’ Uttar Pradesh unit said, according to The Indian Express.
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had met the families of farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 6.
The BJP has been facing intense criticism because of minister Ajay Mishra’s son’s involvement in the violence. The Opposition has accused the party of shielding both of them.
Ashish Mishra was denied bail by a court in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday. He had been arrested on Saturday after over 11 hours of questioning.