UP Lakhimpur-Kheri Violence: Minister Ajay Mishra has denied that his son was linked to the violence.
A murder case has been filed against Union Minister of State Ajay Kumar Mishra's son for allegedly running a car over protesting farmers in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri. Opposition leaders have been barred from visiting the area.
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The violence erupted as a group of protesting farmers in Tikonia area of Kheri tried to block Union Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya from visiting. The protesters were upset over a recent speech by Mr Mishra.
The farmers claimed the violence broke out after a car in the minister's convoy ran over protesters. Visuals from the area showed arson and vehicles set on fire. Eight people, including four farmers, were killed in the incident.
A retired High Court judge will now probe the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri, the Uttar Pradesh government has announced. The state government has also announced that it will pay a compensation of Rs 45 lakh and a government job to families of farmers killed in violence. The injured will be given Rs 10 lakh.
A murder case has been filed against Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra's son, Ashish Mishra. The protesting farmers have alleged that the car was driven by the Union Minister's son Ashish. Several other people have also been named in the First Information Report (FIR).
Minister Ajay Mishra says he is not aware about any FIR against his son Ashish Mishra. He has also denied that his son was linked to the violence. "My son wasn't present at the spot. There were miscreants who attacked workers with sticks and swords. Had my son been there, he wouldn't have come out alive," Mr Mishra, the junior Home Minister, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. "My son was present at the venue of the (Deputy Chief Minister's) event... all through, I was accompanying the deputy chief minister," he said.
Opposition leaders - from Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to Akhilesh Yadav - have been stopped from visiting the area. The Uttar Pradesh government has requested the Lucknow airport authority not to allow the arrival of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Punjab's Deputy CM Sukhjinder S Randhawa. The BSP, having been denied visitation rights, took it in its stride and decided to wait it out.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said today she was pushed and manhandled while being arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police in the early hours of morning and she was not shown any papers either. "They did not show me any papers. If they do not give me any papers, then I will call it kidnapping," the Congress leader told NDTV in an exclusive interview from a guest house in Sitapur where she was detained.
Mobile internet services have been suspended in parts of the violence-hit district, where restrictions under CrPC section 144, which prohibits assembly of four or more people, has also been imposed, according to officials.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, appealing for calm, said he was "saddened" by the violence in his state and promised strict action against those responsible.
The UP Police took to Twitter early on Monday to describe the violent incident as "unfortunate" and said eight casualties have been reported till now as per the district administration.