The Samyukt Kisan Morcha began a 75-hour-long protest at 11 am on Thursday in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district seeking the resignation of Union minister Ajay Mishra as well as various other demands, reported NewsClick.
Hundreds of farmers from Punjab have travelled to the district for the protest, reported The Indian Express.
Lakhimpur Kheri is the place where eight persons, including four farmers, were killed on October 3 after violence broke during a protest against the Centre’s now-repealed agricultural laws. Farmer bodies had alleged that a vehicle belonging to Ashish Mishra, the son of Ajay Mishra, had run over a group of demonstrators.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of several farmer organisation, had spearheaded the protests against the farm laws that were withdrawn by Parliament on November 29.
However, farmer leaders had said that they would continue their protest till their other demands were met. These included a legal guarantee on minimum support prices for farm produce and the withdrawal of cases lodged against the protestors during the farm law agitation.
The Centre had then sent draft proposals on the farmers’ demand. After some deliberations, the farmers on December 9 accepted the proposal and decided to suspend the agitation. In February, farmer bodies had warned of resuming the agitation if the Centre did not meet their demands.
On Thursday, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Tikait) Lakhimpur Kheri chief Dilbagh Singh Sandhu said that the outfit’s spokesperson Rakesh Tikait, Secretary (organisation) Bhudev Sharma and other prominent leaders have reached the location for the protest, reported PTI.
Many more leaders of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha will participate in the protest, he said.
Sandhu also said that while written permission to hold the protest has not been sought, his outfit has informed the authorities. He said that the authorities have made arrangements for security, sanitation and water, among other things.
Meanwhile, Avtar Singh Mehlo, the state vice president of Bhartiya Kisan Union (Lakhewal), said that the protest is for seeking justice for the farmers who were killed in the October 3 violence.
“We demand sacking of Union MoS home Ajay Kumar Mishra, compensation to the families of farmers who died in farmers’ agitation, law for MSP, roll back of Electricity Bill 2022,” Mehlo added.
Darshan Pal, president of Krantikari Kisan Union and member of the coordination committee of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, said that farmers from across the country will come to the protest site.
On Wednesday morning, several groups of farmers had left from Punjab’s Barnala and Mansa, among other places.
Joginder Singh Ugrahan, the president of Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) had said: “Over 2,000 farmers from our union went towards Lakhimpur Kheri in buses. One bus was accompanied by a jeep or car for safety. All the unions started from different locations in Punjab but we all gathered at Kundli border in the outskirts of Delhi so as to go together.”