The violence occurred during a farmers’ protest in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri area on October 4, 2021, killing eight people. Farmers congregated at Banbirpur to protest the arrival of Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya.
Ajay Misra Teni, Union Minister of Home Affairs and Member of Parliament for Lakhimpur Kheri, is a Banbirpur native. The occurrence occurred in Tikunia village, accessible to Banbirpur, Uttar Pradesh, and was previously blocked due to farmer protests.
The backstory of the Lakhimpur Kheri Case
The Union minister had to be honored during the prestigious award ceremony at a school in Tikunia. The chief guest, Uttar Pradesh’s Deputy Chief Minister Maurya, was welcomed since the tradition was illustrious. He had also been planning to unveil infrastructure projects in Lakhimpur Kheri on that day.
Farmers were allegedly enraged by Union minister Ajay Misra Teni during his visit to Lakhimpur Kheri on September 25. During his visit, farmers presented the Minister with black flags, leading Ajay Misra Teni to warn them against ‘unruly’ protest behavior.
Farmers opposing the visit of the Union minister and Uttar Pradesh’s Deputy Chief Minister allegedly met on September 29 to decide to intensify their campaign and condemn the visit.
On Sunday, farmers obstructed a temporary helipad at a university in Tikunia village, Lakhimpur Kheri. Keshav Prasad Maurya originally intended to visit a chopper but then changed his mind upon hearing the farmers’ demonstration. He thus finally arrived by car.
Farmers stopped the Tikunia-Banbirpur roadway when they learned that Maurya was traveling by vehicle. This protest site was the scene of violence that ended in the deaths of eight people. According to the farmers, Union minister Ajay Misra Teni’s son Ashish was reportedly in one of the cars that ran over the demonstrators.
Misra, Ajay Teni has refuted that his child was involved in the incident. Both Teni and his son claim to have evidence of Ashish’s innocence.
As per the reports, BJP worker Ajay Misra Teni was brutally beaten by “certain elements” among demonstrators once the car they were in stopped owing to pelting stones by the protestors.
On social media, disturbing footage of victims being attacked by agitators has appeared. Protesters were seen wearing t-shirts with a drawing of pro-Khalistan leader JS Bhindranwale printed on them in some of the footage circulating on social media. These films have not been authenticated.
Other footage showed demonstrators flying black flags, setting fire to automobiles. Protesters with sticks assault a car in one footage. Two people were thrown from the vehicle. The protestors thrashed them with sticks. These videos, on the other hand, are unconfirmed.
Although both sides’ allegations are unconfirmed, each utilizes the recordings to create political narratives that fit them in the aftermath of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), representing over 40 farmer organizations and is leading the protest against three agricultural legislation enacted by Parliament in 2020, has asked that the Union minister and his son be charged with murder.
Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, said, “The authorities will dive into the depths and discover elements involved in the incident and will take stern punishment upon them.”
Almost every political party in Uttar Pradesh has dispatched one of its leaders to “visit” the victims’ relatives on the farmers’ side. The BJP, on the other hand, is claiming that “elements” among the protestors are causing violence.
A way Forward
Following negotiations with Rakesh Tikait’s organization and the state administration, a solution appears to have been reached between the protesting farmers and the Uttar Pradesh government.
Ex gratia payments of Rs 45 lakh each to the kin of the deceased farmers, Rs 10 lakh each to those injured, government jobs for a family member of each of the four dead farmers based on their qualifications, and a judicial investigation into the violent incident are all part of the compromise.
Further, farmers and several opposition figures have called for the Minister’s son to be arrested. According to a top police officer in Uttar Pradesh, an arrest in the Lakhimpur Kheri case would be made when the police obtain evidence and confirm it.
Farmers have requested that he be fired so that THEY may conduct an impartial and unbiased investigation.
Article Proofread and Edited by Shreedatri Banerjee