Lakhimpur Kheri: Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait along with several supporters reached here early Monday in wake of the violence during an anti-farm laws protest that claimed eight lives.
“We will first meet the farmers and villagers and discuss the situation with them. The future course of action will be done on the basis of the discussion with the villagers and farmers. Their decision will prevail,” Tikait told reporters at Banbirpur village.
Prodded about certain comments made by Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra in purported videos that have surfaced on social media, Tikait demanded his arrest and said the atmosphere in the region was being vitiated over the last 10 days.
Tikait said he would speak about it in detail after meeting the villagers.
The national spokesperson of the BKU, a non-political farmers’ union, had started from western UP on Sunday evening and hoped to reach here by midnight, with his associates blaming the delay on multiple police checks.
“En route to Lakhimpur, we were stopped at multiple places by the UP Police. Somehow we have managed to reach here at Banbirpur village and Tikait ji will now be meeting the farmers here,” BKU’s media in-charge Dharmendra Malik told PTI over the phone at around 5 am.
Meanwhile, mobile internet services were suspended in parts of the violence-hit district, where restrictions under CrPC section 144, which prohibits assembly of four or more people, has also been imposed, according to officials.
The UP Police took to Twitter early on Monday to describe the incident as “unfortunate” and said eight casualties have been reported till now as per the district administration.
“ADG LO, ACS Agriculture, IG Range & Commissioner are on the spot & situation is under control. Adequate deployment has been done to prevent any untoward incident,” it added.
While the BKU members were allowed to go to Banbirpur, a group of Congress leaders, including Priyanka Gandhi, kept waiting outside the village where they reached early Monday braving inclement weather.
Congress national secretary Dheeraj Gurjar told PTI at around 4.30 am that they wanted to meet the victims of the violence but have been stopped by police.