A video purportedly showing protesting farmers being run over by a 4X4 in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, has gone viral. The video was first shared on Monday by ‘Tractor for Twitter’, a handle run by farmers protesting the Union government’s farm laws. It was also shared by Varun Gandhi, an MP of the ruling BJP.
Eight people were killed on Sunday in Lakhimpur Kheri, including four farmers and one freelance journalist.
Earlier on Tuesday, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted the clip with a question for Prime Minister Narendra Modi: “@narendramodi Sir, your government has kept me in custody for the last 28 hours without any order and FIR. This person who crushed the annadata (farmers) has not been arrested yet. Why?”
In the 25-second clip, the 4X4 rams protesters, who fall to the ground, while others try to get out of the way. Another vehicle, with sirens blaring, follows the 4X4.
The farmers allege that the 4X4 was being driven by Union Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra’s son, Ashish. Both the minister and his son have denied even being at the spot.
Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait spoke to leaders in the UP government and later told the protestors to go home, promising that justice would be served.
“The country will remember the sacrifice of the brave martyrs,” Tikait said, adding that it was a big victory that a murder case had been registered against Ashish and ₹45 lakh compensation had been promised to the victims’ families, The Hindu reported.
The government has said that a retired judge will investigate the incident.