No politician will be allowed to share the stage with farmer leaders at the Tuesday ‘antim ardas’ prayers for the four farmers who were killed in the violence in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3, a BKU-Tikait office bearer said.
Preparations for the ‘antim ardas’ (final prayers) are underway at a field, away from the spot where the violence took place in Tikonia village in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.
“The ‘antim ardas’ for all the deceased farmers will be held on Tuesday at Tikonia,” BKU-Tikait’s district president Amandeep Singh Sandhu said on Monday.
On whether politicians will be part of the prayers, BKU-Tikait district vice president Balkar Singh said, “No political leader will be allowed to share the stage where only Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) leaders will be present.”
The SKM is an umbrella organisation of farmer unions and is spearheading the protest against three farm laws, which were enacted last year.
“Farmers and leaders of various farm unions from various states and districts of Uttar Pradesh will participate in the ‘ardas’ and ‘bhog’ programme in Tikonia,” Sandhu said, adding that “no other programme apart from the ‘antim ardas’ and the ‘bhog’ has been communicated so far.”
Eight people died in the October 3 violence and of them, four were farmers, allegedly knocked down by a vehicle carrying BJP workers. Infuriated farmers then allegedly lynched some people in the vehicles. The other dead included two BJP workers and their driver.
Farmers claimed that Union Minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra was in one of the vehicles, an allegation denied by him and his father who say they can produce evidence to prove he was at an event at that time.
The SKM had demanded the arrest of the father-son duo.
Ashish Mishra was arrested after 12 hours of questioning in Lakhimpur Kheri late on Saturday night.
The farmer unions had said if the government does not accept their demands by October 11, they will take out a ‘Shaheed Kisan Yatra’ from Lakhimpur Kheri with the ashes of the slain farmers.
The SKM has also given a call for a rail roko protest across the country from 10 am to 4 pm on October 18 and a ‘mahapanchayat’ in Lucknow on October 26.
“Ajay Mishra should be dismissed from the cabinet and arrested on charges of spreading disharmony, murder and conspiracy. He is also protecting the culprits in the case,” SKM leader Yogendra Yadav had alleged during a press conference in Delhi on Sunday.
A nine-member SIT team headed by Deputy Inspector General of Police (Headquarters) Upendra Agarwal has been formed to investigate the FIR lodged against the minister’s son and others in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence. (PTI)