Farmers’ groups will hold a ‘rail roko‘ on October 18 and a mahapanchayat in Lucknow on October 26 to protest the death of eight people, including four farmers, in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday.
They have also demanded the sacking of junior Union Home Minister Ajay Mishra and the arrest of his son Ashish, who remains a free man despite being named as a murder accused in the FIR.
“Farmers from across the country will reach Lakhimpur Kheri on October 12… what happened there was no less than the Jallianwala Bagh and we request all civic organisations to take out candle marches in their cities at 8 pm (on October 12),” Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav said today.
“Farmers will go to every state with the ashes (of those farmers who died in Lakhimpur Kheri) and immersions will be done… Dussehra is on October 15 and all farmers will burn effigies of Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah,” he added.
“On October 18 we will hold a ‘rail roko‘… On 26th there will be a huge mahapanchayat in Lucknow.”
Eight people died after a SUV – a Mahindra Thar – owned by Ajay Mishra rammed into a group of farmers holding a peaceful protest (as part of the national agitation against the centre’s farm laws).
The farmers have alleged Ashish Mishra was in the SUV.
Earlier today Ashish appeared before UP Police for questioning after skipping yesterday’s summons.
He arrived with a police escort to answer a summons that lists him as a witness in the case.
The summons came after the Supreme Court rapped the UP government and police over their handling of this case; Chief Justice NV Ramana asked the state if it would treat the accused any differently if he were not a union minister’s son.
Shortly before the farmers announced their plans, protests also broke out in Delhi, where Youth Congress workers clashed with cops over demands to arrest Ashish Mishra.
Both Ashish and his father have denied all charges. Mr Mishra admitted to NDTV that the car belonged to his family but said neither he nor his son were in it when the incident took place.