Rahul, Priyanka meet bereaved families in Lakhimpur Kheri

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The entire route from Sitapur to Lakhimpur Kheri was heavily barricaded. The Lakhimpur district administration allowed only seven vehicles in the convoy to enter the district…reports Asian Lite News.

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday finally managed to meet the families of the farmers who were killed in Sunday’s violence at Tikunia village in Lakhimpur Kheri district in Uttar Pradesh.

Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and other leaders met the family of deceased farmer Lovepreet at the Chaukhada farm in Palia at around 9 p.m. on Wednesday.

They later met the family of journalist Raman Kashyap, who was also killed in violence.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and Rajya Sabha MP Deepender Singh Hooda accompanied the Gandhi siblings during their meetings with the farmers’ families.

The entire route from Sitapur to Lakhimpur Kheri was heavily barricaded. The Lakhimpur district administration allowed only seven vehicles in the convoy to enter the district.

Former Rajasthan Deputy CM Sachin Pilot and Congress leader Acharya Pramod Krishnam, however, were not so lucky as they were detained in Moradabad while they were on their way to Lakhimpur by car.

Earlier in the day, AAP MP Sanjay Singh also went to Lakhimpur to meet the bereaved families.

Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav and BSP General Secretary Satish Chandra Mishra will be visiting Lakhimpur on Thursday.

UP appoints judicial panel

The Uttar Pradesh government has deputed Pradeep Kumar Srivastava, a retired judge of the Allahabad High Court, to probe the October 3 Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which nine persons lost their lives.

The judicial commission will have its office in Lakhimpur Kheri and it is required to submit its report within two months.

On October 4, the state government had announced that it would appoint a retired high court judge to ensure an impartial probe into the violence in which Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni’s son Ashish is an accused.

MVA calls for bandh on Oct 11

In a significant development, the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi allies Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress have called for ‘Maharashtra Bandh’ on Monday (October 11) to protest against the killing of eight persons, including four farmers, in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh on October 3.

In another rare gesture, the state Cabinet, presided over by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, observed two minutes’ silence and passed a unanimous resolution condoling the farmers’ deaths, expressing its anguish over the incident.

The MVA strongly condemned the Lakhimpur Kheri development and accused the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh for the “oppression and misuse of power”, and expressed the state government’s support for the farmers’ agitation.

Senior MVA ministers like Eknath Shinde (SS), Jayant Patil (NCP) and Balasaheb Thorat (Congress) briefed the media on the proposed ‘Maharashtra Bandh’, and said that all essential services will be kept out of its purview.

Earlier, NCP President Sharad Pawar had warned that the BJP would have to pay “a heavy price” for the brutal attack on farmers, and reiterated that the country’s entire opposition is with the peasantry.

“The responsibility for this lies with the BJP governments at the Centre and in UP. A similar situation was created in Jallianwala Bagh, we are witnessing the same scenario in UP now. The people will show them their place,” said Pawar.

Calling for united action by the three allies, Shiv Sena chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut said that the “Lakhimpur Kheri violence has shaken the nation”.

He said a senior Congress leader has been illegally arrested by the UP government and other opposition leaders are barred from meeting the farmers or their families.

Flaying the BJP for the farmers’ deaths, Maharashtra Congress President Nana Patole said that the UP and Central governments are “scared” of the Gandhi siblings.

He demanded the dismissal of the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Centre and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in UP for the deaths of eight persons, including four farmers.

Video shows minister’s vehicle mowing down farmers

Union minister Ajay Mishra Teni’s claim that his vehicle was attacked by miscreants before the driver lost control and mowed down farmers, stands “exposed” after a cleaner, longer clip of the viral video from Lakhimpur Kheri reveals what happened on Sunday before the violent clashes.

The viral video clip shows a black SUV – which belongs to the union minister according to his own admission – ploughing into an unarmed group of protesters at great speed.

There are no signs of any attack on the Mahindra Thar vehicle. It shows no stones or sticks being thrown at the car or that the driver lost control resulting in the death of at least four farmers and injuries to many more.

In this video, the driver seems to holding on to the steering wheel firmly and driving at great speed into a group of farmers marching in front of the SUV, with their backs to it.

According to witnesses, it was after this incident, that an enraged mob attacked the cars, set them on fire and four people in the convoy were beaten to death.

A lower resolution, slowed-down version of the same video was earlier shared by a series of opposition leaders as proof that the blame for the Sunday’s clashes lay on the convoy of minister’s aides and BJP workers.

It may be recalled that farmers had gathered to protest against the visit of union home affairs minister Ajay Mishra and the state’s deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya at a wrestling match.

Farmer groups have been claiming that Mishra’s son had been in a car when the vehicle ran over four protesters, killing them. He has denied this charge.

The new video emerged on a day when the Supreme Court announced it was taking up the case as media reports and a letter from two lawyers to Chief Justice N.V. Ramana cast doubts on the Uttar Pradesh police investigation into the incident.

Four days after a murder case was filed against him, the minister’s son Ashish Mishra is yet to be arrested and government sources have ruled out the minister Ajay Mishra’s resignation, following a meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday.

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