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Agriculture

Lakhimpur Kheri: No Fair Probe Possible Unless Ajay Mishra Resigns, Says Rakesh Tikait

Farmers are planning to burn effigies of BJP leaders in protest on Dussehra.

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New Delhi: The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) – an umbrella body of farmers’ groups – on Thursday said their call for burning effigies on Dussehra will be acted upon in different places across the country either on Friday or Saturday, depending upon the local situation in that particular area.

SKM had initially put out a call to all its constituents that on October 15 (Dussehra festival day), there will be effigy-burning of BJP leaders to keep up with the spirit of the festival – of good triumphing over evil.

However, given the possibility of BJP-RSS forces using the occasion to escalate communal tension especially in the sensitive parts of Terai, there was an alteration made in the plan, a statement by the umbrella body of over 40 farmer unions said.

Claiming that there was confusion while communicating the information to the members, leading them to believe that the effigy burning would happen on both the dates, the SKM clarified and advised the cadres to mark the occasion only on either of the two dates.

Among the leaders whose effigies would be burnt, the statement said, are Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath and Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Ajay Mishra Teni, and others.

Voicing dissatisfaction over the probe into the Lakhimpur violence case after the “red-carpet arrest” of MoS Home Ajay Mishra’s son, Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait on Thursday said a fair investigation is not possible till the minister is removed from his post.

He said the “red-carpet arrest” of Ashish Mishra has fuelled anger among protesting farmers.

Alleging that the investigating agency is going soft on Mishra’s interrogation, Tikait termed the probe a ‘guldaston wali puch-tach‘ (investigation where bouquets are being presented).

Ashish Mishra, alleged to be in one of the cars that mowed down the protesters in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3, was arrested after 12 hours of questioning last week. A court here had granted three-day custody of Ashish to police.

“The whole world understands that no justice can be given if the minister whose son is being investigated continues to hold his chair. We are completely dissatisfied by the manner in which investigations are being conducted,” Tikait said at a function in Tappal town. He claimed that the minister was influencing the SIT investigation.

The BKU leader reiterated that the protest against the Lakhimpur violence would intensify if Ajay Mishra was not removed from his post.

When asked about the arrest of Ankit Das, a friend of Ashish Mishra, he claimed, “More false witnesses will be produced and some will even take responsibility on their head under the influence of Ajay Mishra in the region.”

On Thursday, the UP police SIT took Ashish and other accused to the scene of the violence to “recreate the incident”, Indian Express reported. Three vehicles and dummy bodies were used.

(With PTI inputs)