Lakhimpur violence adds to Yogi’s woes ahead of UP poll

The Lakhimpur violence, in which the son of senior BJP leader and Union minister of state Ajay Mishra Teni are accused of trampling four protesting farmers to death, has opened another front for the CM to deal with, after the mysterious death of Akhara Parishad president Mahant Narendra Giri last month and the death of a Kanpur-based trader in Gorakhpur recently.

Virendra Singh Rawat reports.

The Lakhimpur violence, in which eight people, including farmers, Bharatiya Janata Party workers and a journalist, were killed on Sunday, has added to the cup of woes of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath with just a few months to go for the assembly elections.

The state government was already trying to recover from the mysterious death of Akhara Parishad president Mahant Narendra Giri at his ashram in Prayagraj last month and the death of a Kanpur-based trader in Gorakhpur recently after allegedly being assaulted by police, both incidents raising strong concerns over the prevailing law and order situation in the state.

The Lakhimpur incident, in which the son of senior BJP leader and Union minister of state Ajay Mishra Teni are accused of trampling four protesting farmers to death, has opened another front for the CM to deal with.

After the alleged mowing down of four farmers by the convoy, three BJP workers and the driver of one of the vehicles were allegedly lynched by protesters, with the incident caught on camera.

These clips have since gone viral on social media platforms. A car was also set ablaze by miscreants.

Teni claimed the BJP convoy was attacked by lathi and sword-wielding people, who had mixed with the protesting farmers, and in a bid to escape the mob fury, one of the vehicles turned turtle, killing the farmers.

He also claimed his son was not travelling in the convoy and was elsewhere when the incident took place.

Adityanath expressed grief at the incident and promised stern action against those guilty.

He also appealed to people to maintain peace in the state.

The state government on Monday announced a compensation of Rs 45 lakh to the kin of the deceased, government job to one family member and Rs 10 lakh each to the injured.

It said a retired high court judge will probe the incident.

Meanwhile, an FIR was lodged against the Union minister and his son on the basis of the complaint filed by the protesting farmers.

The UP government has turned Lakhimpur district, about 165 km from Lucknow, into a virtual fortress and banned the entry of political leaders to prevent any untoward incident.

Opposition leaders detained

Congress General Secretary and UP in-charge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was detained in Sitapur when she was on her way to Lakhimpur Kheri.

The UP administration prevented Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, his Punjab counterpart Charanjit Singh Channi, Bahujan Samaj Party’s S C Mishra and AAP’s Sanjay Singh, etc from reaching Lakhimpur.

In Lucknow, SP workers manhandled a senior police official and set a police vehicle afire when Akhilesh was barred from proceeding to Lakhimpur.

Talking to a news channel, Priyanka charged the UP government with high-handedness while dealing with farmers.

Akhilesh, too, slammed the Adityanath government.

He also sought the resignation of UP deputy CM even as he demanded an ex gratia of Rs 2 crore each to the kin of the victims’ families.

In Punjab, state Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu, along with several party MLAs, held a protest outside the Raj Bhavan against the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.

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