New Delhi: Farm leaders on Saturday demanded that Union minister Ajay Mishra and his son be arrested in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, and termed the incident a “terror attack” and part of a “pre-planned conspiracy”.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmer organisations spearheading the stir against the farm laws, said they will take out a “Shaheed Kisan Yatra” from Lakhimpur Kheri if their demands are not met by October 11.
The SKM also appealed to farmer bodies to organise prayer meetings on October 12 and urged people to light candles outside their homes on that evening. The Morcha said farmers will burn effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah on Dusshera in protest against the violence.
Farmer leaders on Saturday gave a call for a “rail roko” agitation across the country from 10 am to 4 pm on October 18 and a “mahapanchayat” in Lucknow on October 26.
Eight people were killed in the violence last Sunday. Four of the eight victims were farmers, who were allegedly knocked down by a vehicle carrying BJP workers. Angry farmers then allegedly lynched some people in the vehicles. The other dead included two BJP workers and their driver.
Farmers claimed that Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra was in one of the vehicles, an allegation denied by them.
Ajay Mishra should be “dismissed from the cabinet and arrested on charges of spreading disharmony, murder and conspiracy,” said SKM leader Yogendra Yadav at a press conference.
“He is also protecting the culprits in the case,” the farmer leader alleged.
“His son Ashish Mishra, and his associates, who have been accused of murder, should be arrested immediately,” he demanded.
Yadav said,”If the government does not accept our demands by October 11, we will take out a ‘Shaheed Kisan Yatra’ from Lakhimpur Kheri with the ‘asthi’ (ashes) of slain farmers.”
An “antim ardas” (prayer meeting) will be held on October 12 at Tikonia, Lakhimpur Kheri, to pay tributes to the four farmers and the journalist killed in the incident, Yadav added.
“All farmer organisations should organise prayer meetings at their places on October 12,” he said and appealed to people to light candles outside their house on that evening.
Farmer leader Darshan Pal claimed the incident did not happen suddenly. “Union minister Ajay Mishra made some remarks during an event in Lakhimpur Kheri on September 25. It forms the background of what happened on October 3. The video is on Facebook. This incident is a terror attack and part of a pre-panned conspiracy,” he said.
Farmer leader Joginder Singh Ugrahan claimed that the government has adopted a violent approach against protesting farmers. “We won’t take the path of violence”, he said.