NEW DELHI: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday demanded a CBI probe into Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which eight people, including four farmers, died after two SUVs allegedly ran over protesters.
Delhi chief minister and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal demanded that the perpetrators of “such a heinous crime” be given “strictest punishment”.
The party’s MP Sanjay Singh also demanded that “strictest punishment” be handed down to the “killers”.
He urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw the “three black farm laws” against which farmers have been protesting for the last 10 months.
“A few days ago, (Union Minister of State for Home) Ajay Kumar Mishra had said in a statement that he would bring the protesting farmers on right track in two minutes. Today, as per reports coming to me, his son has killed three farmers mowing them down under the wheels of his vehicle.”
“This incident is not of the Britisher’s India but the India of Narendra Modi, after 75 years of Independence, India of Yogi Adityanath, where the BJP is in power,” Singh said in a video message on Twitter.
Mishra, however, has claimed that his son nor he was present at the site when the incident occurred.
Three BJP workers and a driver were beaten to death by “some elements” in the protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri after a car in which they were travelling turned turtle following pelting of stones, he claimed.
The AAP leader said, “I appeal that Modi Ji should withdraw the three black laws and ensure that the killers of the farmers in today’s incident are arrested and be given strictest punishment. There should be a CBI probe into the incident in which three farmers were killed.”
He also demanded compensation for the farmers injured in the incident.
Kejriwal tweeted, “It is violent and unjust to crush protesting farmers under the wheels. There is news coming in about the killing of farmer brothers in the incident. May God rest their soul. I am with farmer brothers in this hour of grief.”
“Culprits of such a heinous crime should be punished severely,” he added.
Reacting to the incident, senior AAP leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the news about the “killing” of farmers in Lakhimpur is “extremely sad and heart-wrenching.”
“The killers of the country’s ‘annadatas (food providers)’ should not be spared under any circumstances, no matter how influential they are,” he wrote on Twitter.
Eight people were killed on Sunday as violence erupted during a farmers’ protest, claiming the lives of both farmers and BJP workers ahead of a visit to Lakhimpur by Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, officials said.
Two SUVs were set on fire by angry farmers in the clash near Banbirpur in Lakhimpur Kheri, the bloodiest incident of violence since the protest over the farm laws enacted at the Centre began last year.
Four of the dead were people in the cars, apparently a part of a convoy of BJP workers who had come to welcome the UP minister.
They were allegedly thrashed to death.
The four others were farmers, officials said.
Several people were hospitalised, according to the two sides.
“I strongly condemn the barbaric incident in Lakhimpur Kheri. The apathy of @BJP4India towards our farmer brethren pains me deeply,” tweeted Banerjee who won the Bhabanipur by-poll defeating the BJP nominee by a huge margin earlier in the day.
“A delegation of 5 @AITCofficial MPs will be visiting the families of the victims tomorrow. Our farmers will always have our unconditional support,” West Bengal CM and Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee added.
TMC sources said the five leaders are Lok Sabha members Dr Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar and Pratima Mondal, and Dola Sen, Sushmita Dev and Abir Ranjan Biswas of the Rajya Sabha.
The violence in Uttar Pradesh triggered outburst with opposition parties blaming the Yogi Adityanath government for the deaths.
Assembly election is due in Uttar Pradesh in 2022.