Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday alleged that farmers are being "systematically attacked" and there is "dictatorship" in India now with politicians not being allowed to visit Uttar Pradesh to meet the families of the victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Rahul Gandhi said he along with two Congress Chief Ministers -- Bhupesh Baghel (Chhattisgarh) and Charanjit Singh Channi (Punjab) -- will try to visit Lakhimpur Kheri to meet the families hit by the violence.
Lucknow Police Commissioner DK Thakur told PTI that the Uttar Pradesh government has not given permission for Gandhi's visit, and he will not be allowed to go to Sitapur or Lakhimpur.
Gandhi charged that farmers are being mowed down and the names of a union minister and his son are coming up, but no action is being taken.
Farmers of the country are being "systematically attacked," he alleged.
"There used to be democracy, there is dictatorship in India now. Politicians cannot go to Uttar Pradesh. We are being told since yesterday that we cannot go to Uttar Pradesh," Gandhi said.
His sister Priyanka Gandhi was detained from Sitapur district on Sunday night when she was on her way to Lakhimpur Kheri after the violence. She continues to be in detention, and the Congress has planned to stage protests over the same.
Four of the eight dead in Sunday's violence in Lakhimpur Kheri were farmers, allegedly knocked down by vehicles driven by BJP workers travelling to welcome Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya to an event in the area. A video emerged on Tuesday of a car being drive into a crowd of protesting farmers on the street. Another video was being shared by supporters of the BJP showing people trying to overturn a car and hitting some others with sticks.
The others including BJP workers and their driver were allegedly pulled out of the vehicles and lynched by the protesters.
The Uttar Pradesh Police has lodged a case against Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra's son Ashish but no arrest has been made so far.