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UP: Azamgarh BJP MP Allegedly Threatened to 'Break Knees' of Villagers Protesting Airport Expansion

After protesters, including SKM, demanded retraction, Dinesh Lal Yadav ‘Nirahua’ reportedly clarified he meant no one should take law & order into own hands.

File photo.

Lucknow: As protests by villagers against the proposed expansion of Manduri airstrip in Azamgarh of Uttar Pradesh are intensifying, with Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) also backing it, matters took a serious turn with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP. Dinesh Lal Yadav (Nirahua), allegedly threatening to "break the knees" of protesting farmers.

On November 19, Azamgarh MP Nirahua allegedly (see Rajeev Yadav’s letter) said during a public gathering in Mubarakpur area: "Azamgarh ke pichdepan ka ekmatra karan yahan ke logon ka mann badha hua hai. Agar Azamgarh ko aage badhaana hai to pehle ise khatm karna hoga. Jin logon ka mann badha hua hai ya to inhe jail bhejo ya ghutna maar kar ghuntna tod do ya seedhe upar bhej do (The lone reason Azamgarh remained backward is its people here who are out of hand. If the district has to be progress, then first such a trend needs to be stopped. Those who are out of control, either send them to jail, break their knees or kill them.”

Read Also: 'Will die but Won’t Give Up Land', say Farmers Opposing Azamgarh Airport Expansion

Farmers collective SKM condemned this alleged threat and demanded that the MP retract the same.

However, later, Nirahua reportedly clarified that he meant that nobody should take law into their hands. "If the problem is not being resolved then let us know. We will sort it out but one should not take law into his hands," he said when the villagers landed at police station demanding action against him.

Deja Vu Lakhimpur Kheri?

The SKM and 'Makan Bachao Khet Bachao Sanyukta Morcha', which was formed to lead the protest, have charged the BJP MP of trying to incite violence in Azamgarh, like in Lakhimpur Kheri alleging that this was done to derive political mileage ahead of the forthcoming urban polls.

"Such a statement was also given by Union minister of State for Home, Ajay Mishra Teni in Lakhimpur Kheri wherein he talked about “teaching a lesson” to farmers protesting against the three farm laws. After that, his son's convoy mowed down four farmers and a journalist. Nirahua's statement is an attempt to create similar atmosphere. In such a situation, action should be taken against the BJP MP," Rajeev Yadav, SKM member, who is among the leaders of the Azamgarh protest, told NewsClick. 

He said that this was not the first time BJP MP made such statements against protesting villagers. Earlier, Nirahua had said that the people who are protesting against airport expansion are “anti-development” and "politically motivated".  


The protesting villagers had first given a complaint to Azamgarh superintendent of police (SP) Anurag Arya on November 21 but could not turn into First Information Report (FIR). On November 23, the union handed over a memorandum to the district magistrate, demanding action against the BJP leader.

Thousands of locals, mainly women, reportedly from the dalit and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) communities, have been protesting against the proposed expansion of Mandauri airstrip in Azamgarh since 43 days. The protest has been going strong, drawing support from farm leaders and social activists.

Read Also: UP: 37 Days on, Protest Against Azamgarh Airport Expansion Gathers Pace

The proposal is to expand the Azamgarh airstrip to an international airport under the UDAN scheme. The project will displace about 10,000 people from around 600 acres covering eight villages Hasanpur, Kadipur Harikesh, Jamua Hariram, Jamua Jolha, Gadanpur Chindan Patti, Manduri Jigina Karampur and Jehra Pipri. The villagers are unwilling to give up their land and livelihoods tied to the land.

Meanwhile, a large number of protesting locals are planning to reach Lucknow to join the nationwide march to Raj Bhawan on November 26, called by SKM in protest against the alleged breach of assurance by the Centre on their pending demands. The proposed expansion of the airport in Azamgarh is also supposed to be raised then.

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