Lakhimpur Kheri: 2 accused arrested, Navjot Sidhu threatens hunger strike

Congress leader Navjot Sidhu on his way to Lakhimpur Kheri to meet the families of the victimes

Two persons have been arrested and are being questioned in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri violence on Sunday which erupted after a minister’s convoy ran over protesting farmers and resulted in the death of eight persons.

The police has also summoned Ashish Mishra, son of Minister of State for Home, Ajay Mishra, who was accused of running his SUV onto protesting farmers.

“If Ashish Mishra does not abide by the summons, legal procedure will be adopted,” said Inspector General of Police Laxmi Singh.

Singh also said that the post mortem report did not show any firearm injury on a farmer, as mentioned in some reports.

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The Supreme Court has sought to know the status of the investigation from the Uttar Pradesh government, including the first information report (FIR) registered and arrests.

The Uttar Pradesh government has appointed retired Allahabad High Court judge Pradeep Kumar Srivastava as the one-member judicial commission to probe the incident. He has been given two months to complete the probe.

Also read: Varun Gandhi demands justice for farmers; dropped from top BJP panel

However, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who had met some of the families of the victims, demanded a probe by a sitting Supreme Court or high court judge, and not a retired judge.

She also sought the resignation of minister Ajay Mishra. “I can say that for an unbiased probe, the minister should resign as he has the Home portfolio and all this comes under him,” she said.

Punjab Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu has threatened to go on a hunger strike if Ashish Mishra was not arrested tomorrow. Sidhu and party leaders and workers were detained by the UP police at the UP border at Saharanpur, denying them the possibility to reach Lakhimpur Kheri to meet the families of the victims.

Senior Congress leader Harish Rawat and others were stopped by the district administration at the Uttar Pradesh-Uttarakhand border as they arrived here on their way to Lakhimpur Kheri to meet the families of the victims of violence.

“Today, when the farmer raises his voice, he is crushed to death by a car and when (Congress leader) Priyanka Gandhi goes to meet the suffering farmers, she is arrested. But those who are accused of killing the farmers are yet to be arrested by the police,” Rawat said, adding that democracy is in danger in the country.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel hit back at the opposition BJP for criticising him over his announcement of giving a financial assistance to the victims of violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri, and said this “heart-wrenching” tragedy involving farmers should not be compared to any other incident.

He also sought to know why Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not spoken about the incident so far.

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