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Rahul Gandhi-led Congress Delegation Seeks To Visit Lakhimpur; UP Govt Turns Down Request

The Uttar Pradesh government refused to allow a 5-member Congress delegation led by ex-party president Rahul Gandhi to visit Lakhimpur-Kheri on Wednesday.

Rahul Gandhi, Lakhimpur

Image: PTI


The Uttar Pradesh government refused to allow a 5-member Congress delegation led by ex-party president Rahul Gandhi to visit Lakhimpur-Kheri on Wednesday. In a letter addressed to the authorities in UP seeking permission, Congress general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal mentioned that the delegation wanted to express condolences to the kin of the farmers killed in the Lakhimpur violence and ascertain the facts firsthand. Moreover, he pointed out that leaders of other political parties had been allowed to visit the area whereas Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was detained without any reason. 

Meanwhile, the Wayanad MP will address a press conference at the AICC headquarters at 10 am on Wednesday. As per sources, he is likely to reach Lucknow at around 12.30 pm in the day and will travel to Sitapur thereafter to meet his sister. Vadra has been lodged at the PAC guest house in Sitapur after her arrest at 4.30 am on Monday under Section 151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (arrest to prevent the commission of cognizable offences). 

Politicians denied permission to visit Lakhimpur

The entry of political leaders has been barred in the Lakhimpur-Kheri district owing to the imposition of Section 144. Apart from Vadra, Deepender Hooda, Sanjay Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, Shivpal Yadav, Sanjay Singh and a delegation of Punjab MLAs led by Deputy CM Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa were also detained on the way to Lakhimpur. On Monday, Akhilesh Yadav was stopped from leaving his Vikramaditya Marg residence ahead of his visit to Lakhimpur and temporarily taken into preventive custody. 

Besides this, BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra and Congress leader Salman Khurshid were placed under house arrest. In another development, permission was denied for the landing of the helicopters of Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel and Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi in Lakhimpur. However, TMC MPs Sushmita Dev, Dola Sen, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Pratima Mondal and Abir Ranjan Biswas and RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary managed to meet the families of the victims in Lakhimpur on Tuesday. 

4 farmers killed in violence

Violence erupted between farmers and BJP workers leaving 8 persons including 4 farmers dead ahead of an event in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri district on October 3 where UP Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya was invited as the Chief Guest. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha accused Ashish Mishra of mowing down farmers and causing another death by opening fire on the protesters. Rejecting these charges, Union MoS Home Ajay Mishra alleged that 3 BJP workers and a driver were killed by the protesters when their vehicle turned turtle following stone-pelting by farmers.

But, a 29-second video came to the fore a day earlier which clearly shows a car travelling at high speed mowing down farmers who are protesting peacefully. Without denying the authenticity of the video, Ajay Mishra said, "Only you know how the car mowed down (the farmers) as I was not present there. My son was also not there. So, we don't have any information about it. But the information and videos in the public domain show that the driver of the car was dragged out and killed there itself".

An FIR has been filed against Ashish Mishra and unknown accused persons under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 147 (rioting), 148 (Rioting armed with a deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 279 (rash driving), 302 (murder), 304A (death by negligence) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the IPC. Meanwhile, the Yogi Adityanath-led government constituted a Special Investigation Team to probe the Lakhimpur violence. Reportedly, Additional SP Arun Kumar will head the SIT.

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