The Communist Party of India (CPI) has demanded a high-level probe into the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, adequate compensation for families of victims and the resignation of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, asserting that such incidents cannot be tolerated in a democracy and farmers have every right to protest.
D Raja, CPI General Secretary, said that the Uttar Pradesh government has completely failed to address the concerns of farmers.
"What happened yesterday in Lakhimpur Kheri cannot be tolerated in a democracy. Farmers have every right to protest, but the way BJP leaders are treating the farmers is atrocious, inhumane, cruel and insensitive," he said.
"Considering the increase in crime against the farmers, increase in crime against women, children, Dalits, minorities in Uttar Pradesh, Adityanath doesn't have the moral right to continue to be in power. He is spending huge money for spreading propaganda about his achievements in Uttar Pradesh. Everybody knows why the sugarcane farmers are agitating, why farmers, in general, are agitating. The state government has completely failed to address the concerns of farmers," he added.
The CPI leader said: "Our party demands there should be a thorough high-level probe. Our party demands the farmers must be given all help. The families which have lost the farmers must get adequate compensation and those who have been injured must have adequate medical care and there must be a thorough probe."
Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of several farmer unions, alleged that Ashish Mishra Teni, son of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra Teni arrived with three vehicles around the time that farmers were dispersing from their protest at the helipad and mowed down farmers and towards the end also attacked SKM leader Tajinder Singh Virk directly, by trying to run a vehicle over him.
However, Ashish Mishra refuted SKM's allegations and said he was not present at the spot where the incident took place.
Mr Raja said that nobody should go scot-free whether they are the sons of a minister or a minister. "If they commit crimes like that, they must face the law. PM Modi should answer how a minister in his government can behave like this and allow his son to behave like this. These are all serious questions."
As many as eight people died in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident on Sunday, said Uttar Pradesh police.
Minister Teni said that his son was not present at the spot, adding that some miscreants mingled with protesting farmers and pelted the stones at the car which lead to the 'unfortunate incident'.
Condemning Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar's 'tit for tat' remarks, D Raja said: "Khattar should understand he is the chief minister of a government in a state that is Haryana. How he can make such an atrocious statement. It is highly condemnable. In fact, PM Modi should answer to the nation on how his party chief minister is behaving. I think the Supreme Court also should take suo moto cognizance and see whether elected chief ministers can ask people to take lathis and go on attack the protesters."
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday asked the state unit of BJP's Kisan Morcha to 'pick up sticks' and to use 'tit for tat' methodology against the protesting farmers.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)