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Lakhimpur Kheri Violence: One Year Since Incident, Families Still Awaiting Justice

In a letter to the government, the farmers' body Samyukt Kisan Morcha alleged that victims of the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri are yet to receive their compensation.
Lakhimpur Kheri Violence: One Year Since the Incident, Families Still Awaiting Justice

Visuals from Lakhimpur Kheri incident. Image Courtesy: National Herald

On October 3 last year, eight people were killed in Lakhimpur Kheri in Tikunia village during a car incident that happened during a farmers' protest against Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya's visit to the area.

Four farmers who were part of the protest were mowed down by an SUV, which allegedly belonged to Ashish Mishra, son of Ajay Mishra, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs. The victims included a journalist, the driver of the vehicle and two BJP workers.

To mark the anniversary of the incident, farmer unions are planning to block rail routes today, October 3.

In a letter to the government on October 1, the farmers' body Samyukt Kisan Morcha alleged that victims of the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri are yet to receive their compensation.

"The government had reached in an agreement with the families of farmers who died and with the protesters, but most of the points in this agreement are not implemented yet," the letter stated. The promises included a government job to a relative of each of the victims. SKM also highlighted that four protesters are still in jail in false cases lodged by the government.

The farmers' body also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to remove Ajay Mishra from his cabinet.

The main accused, Ashish Mishra, was arrested on October 9 last year but received bail from Allahabad High Court on February 10 this year. However, victims' families challenged the bail order in the Supreme Court, which overturned the High Court verdict. Ashish Mishra is currently in Lakhimpur prison since his bail cancellation on April 18.

Speaking to reporters on the eve of the first anniversary, farmers' leader Rakesh Tikait said that the victims' families are yet to get justice.

"Farmers of the country will never forget the incident. They will assemble across the nation to mark its first anniversary on October 3," he said.

"The ruling dispensation neither believes in the legal system nor the Constitution and misused its power," he alleged. Asked about the future course of action, Tikait said, "People can only raise their voices, and the rest is up to the government."

Referring to the Samyukta Kisan Morcha's (SKM) three-day protest in Lakhimpur in August over the delay in delivery of justice in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, he said over 50,000 farmers came together and put forth their demands. They were assured that the Uttar Pradesh chief minister or concerned officials would talk to them, but nothing materialised.

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