Lakhimpur Kheri farmers

4th October 2021: The National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) vehemently condemns the murderous attack on protesting farmers at Lakhimpur Kheri which resulted in the death of 4 farmers – Shri Daljeet Singh (35), Shri Nachattar Singh (60), Shri Gurvinder Singh (19) and Shri Lovepreet Singh (20) – and serious injuries to several other farmers and protestors including Shri Tajinder Singh Virk, leader of Terai Kisan Sangathan and national working group member of AIKSCC.

People across the country are shocked and outraged at this attack on protesting annadatas, in which 3 SUVs including one belonging to the Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni ran over the protesting farmers who were standing off the road near the helipad, and gunshots were fired at the farmers – reportedly by the Union Minister’s son Ashish Mishra and his associates.

The facts about the incidents were clearly placed before the nation by Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s press conference yesterday, in which Richa Singh ji, NAPM’s national convenor from U.P. and one of the leaders of Samyukt Kisan Morcha, explained the sequence of events as she participated in the protest yesterday and also visited the hospital where the victims were taken. In the light of the attempts by the Union Minister and the U.P. government to spread misinformation about the incident, it is important to note certain salient facts.

Firstly, thousands of farmers were protesting peacefully and non-violently with black flags since the morning, in an organized manner with langar arrangements also made by the farmers. Secondly, well before the attack on farmers, they had already started dispersing after their successful protest, after the police informed the agitating farmers that the Deputy Chief Minister who was to arrive by helicopter at Tikonia had changed his plan in the light of the farmers’ protest. The farmers who had come from various places had started returning to their vehicles. Thirdly, the farmers who were mowed down by the vehicles were well off the road on a lower ground from the road when the vehicles started bearing down upon them. Gunshots were also fired from the vehicles by the Union Minister’s son Ashish Mishra and his associates. Most importantly, there was heavy police contingent at the protest who had cordoned off the protest area, so it is a serious question as to how and why the vehicle convoy belonging to the Union Minister had been allowed to come towards the protestors.

NAPM leaders said that the sequence of incidents indicate a planned attack against the protesting farmers to “teach them a lesson”, and dereliction of duty by the heavy police contingent at the protest. They also strongly opposed the actions of the state government of disrupting the internet and mobile data services in the area and forcibly stopping leaders of farmer organizations and political parties from visiting the area, and said that this is an attempt to cover up the facts on the ground and prevent the truth from getting out.

NAPM gives a call to all its members and the public to participate in the protests called by Samyukta Kisan Morcha across the country against the Lakhimpur attack which happened the day after Gandhi Jayanti, completely violating the principles he stood for. NAPM asserts the right of farmers and all citizens to protest against injustice and anti-people policies, and urges all protestors and participants in the farmers’ movement to resolutely maintain the non-violent character which has been the hallmark of the protest movement in the past one year. NAPM urges the public to recognize the vicious attempts of the ruling parties, particularly BJP and RSS forces to break the historic democratic movement of the farmers.

NAPM demands that:

(a) Police should immediately arrest Ashish Mishra Teni and his associates involved in the vehicle attack and register charges of wilful murder.

(b) The ghastly incident should be investigated by a sitting Supreme Court judge, in light of the involvement of the Union Minister’s son and the failure of the police.

(c) Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni should resign from his post of Minister, or be removed by the Government of India.

(d) Government of UP should stop preventive arrests and detention of leaders of farmer organizations and parties who are going to visit Lakhimpur Kheri, and release all the detained leaders.

(e) The blockade of internet and mobile data services should be immediately lifted, and free flow of information should be restored.

(f) The U.P. government should immediately give ex gratia compensation of Rs.1 crore to the families of the deceased farmers and Rs.25 lakhs to all the injured farmers in the incident.

 


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