Two days after nine people were killed in violence at Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri, a video has emerged showing a car running into a group of protesting farmers, knocking many of them over. The Congress has posted a video of the incident which sparked violence in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday.
The video shows a farmer, seen wearing a white shirt and a green turban, landing on a jeep's bonnet as others jump aside to save themselves. The jeep moves on, followed by a black SUV. At least half a dozen individuals can be seen lying on the side of the road as the two vehicles make their way ahead.
Nine persons, including four farmers and one journalist, were killed in the Tikunia village during the clashes that followed this incident. Four of the dead in Lakhimpur were farmers, allegedly knocked down by vehicles driven by BJP workers travelling to welcome Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya. The others were BJP workers and their driver, who were allegedly pulled out of the vehicles and then beaten by the protesters. Two cars were also set on fire.
Congress also shared the video of the car running into protesters on its official Twitter handle, but the police have not commented on the video. Supporters of the BJP, meanwhile, have tweeted videos of the aftermath, where alleged protesters are seen trying to overturn a jeep and some people can be seen beating others with sticks and rods.
The farmers have blamed Ashish Mishra, son of Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni, for the violence. A farmer who was at the spot of the incident told Scroll.in that Minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish was driving one of the other cars. The farmer also accused him of opening fire and claimed that he even shot a protester in the head, when the protester tried to catch hold of him while he was trying to flee. Another farmer who was present at the spot also corroborated this version to the Indian Express, saying that Ashish Mishra did not expect such a large group of farmers to surround his car, and managed to flee by running through the fields. The police, however, have denied any firing took place at the spot.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Tuesday shared the video which showed the group of protesting farmers being mowed down by an SUV.
"@narendramodi ji your government has detained me for the past 28 hours without any order or FIR. Why has the person who ran over farmers not been arrested yet?" she said in a tweet in Hindi.
The violence had broken out on Sunday during an anti-farm laws protest ahead of UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya's visit to Banbirpur, the native village of Union Minister of State Home Ajay Mishra. Mishra's son Ashish and BJP supporters are accused of running over farmers in their SUVs and an FIR has been registered against Ashish Mishra in connection with the incident. However, Ashish Mishra has claimed that he was not present in any of the vehicles that were a part of the convoy at the time of the incident. The Uttar Pradesh government declared on Monday that a retired High Court judge will probe the incident.
Those who died in the violence have been identified as Daljeet Singh (32) and Gurvinder Singh (20), both from Bahraich district; Lavpreet Singh (30) of Chaukhada farm; and Nachhatar Singh (65) from Nandapurwa village, both in Kheri. A post-mortem of three BJP workers — identified as Hariom (35), Shyam Sundar (40) and Shubham Mishra (30) — all from Kheri district was carried out late on Sunday night. Their last rites were performed by their kin on Monday. Among those killed was a local journalist Raman Kasyap (28), who worked with Sadhna news, and the cause of his death is not known yet.
A number of Opposition leaders, including former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, were prevented from going to Lakhimpur Kheri to meet the families of the deceased.