Farmers Suspend Yogendra Yadav For Meeting Family Of BJP Man Killed In UP

Yogendra Yadav, who is a member of the umbrella body, will not be able to participate in any of its meetings or be part of the decision-making process.

Yogendra Yadav said he visited BJP worker's family since "he felt he should", sources said (File)

New Delhi:

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha - a conglomerate of 46 farmers' unions - has suspended activist Yogendra Yadav for a month after he visited the family of a BJP worker who was killed in the violence at Lakhimpur Kheri earlier this month. Mr Yadav, who is a member of the umbrella body, will not be able to participate in any of its meetings or be part of the decision-making process.

Sources said action was taken at a meeting today after demands of action by farmers' organisations in Punjab. Manjit Singh Rai, the President of Bhartiya Kisan Union, Doaba, told NDTV that 32 farmers' unions are on the same page on the issue and they also want a public apology from Mr Yadav.

Sources close to Mr Yadav said he had gone to visit the BJP worker's family last week as "he felt he should".

"He said (at the meeting) that he was not sorry that he went to visit the family, but is ready to apologise for not discussing the issue with the farmers' body beforehand," the sources said.

Four farmers were run over in Lakhimpur Kheri, allegedly by Ashish Mishra, the son of Union minister Ajay Mishra during a protest earlier this month. Violence and arson broke out soon after, in which four others were killed.

Ashish Mishra was arrested on October 9, five days after he was named in a murder case.

Four more people, including a BJP leader who was seen inside the SUV that mowed down protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri, have been arrested. Among them is Local BJP leader Sumit Jaiswal, who was seen in a viral video escaping from the lead SUV in the convoy of vehicles that crushed the farmers.

Sumit Jaiswal had filed a complaint with the police earlier, claiming that their vehicles lost control due to stone-pelting by farmers and accidentally hit them. His driver, friend, and two BJP workers were beaten to death later, he said in the complaint.

Ajay Mishra - who is the junior home minister at the Centre - and his son have denied that they were present at the spot, though the minister told NDTV that the SUV belonged to his family.

The farmers and the opposition have demanded that the minister step down and action be taken against those responsible.

The matter has reached the Supreme Court, which has asked the Uttar Pradesh government not to "drag its feet" and protect and record the statement of all witnesses. "This should not be an unending story," the top court has said.

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