Farmers pay tribute to demonstrators killed in Lakhimpur, Priyanka Gandhi attends “antim ardas”
Farmers in Uttar Pradesh and neighboring states on Tuesday offered ‘antim ardas’ – the last prayers in Sikh tradition – for protesters killed in recent violence, with their leaders vowing to intensify unrest against the new laws agricultural centers.
Congress Secretary General Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Jayant Chaudhary were part of the large rally near the village of Tikonia, near where eight people were killed on October 3.
Four of them were farmers who were allegedly mowed down by cars carrying BJP workers. Three others were BJP workers who were later allegedly lynched by angry farmers. A local journalist was also among the dead. His family was also seated on the platform, with family members of the four farmers, displaying their framed photographs.
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Bharatiya Kisan union leader Rakesh Tikait reiterated the schedule of protests planned by the farmers’ unions over the coming days as they demand the repeal of laws and the resignation as well as the arrest of the minister of State of the Union Ajay Mishra.
Home Secretary Ashish Mishra’s son was reportedly in one of the cars that ran over the protesters, and three others were arrested by a special investigation team.
Two others approached the court, seeking to surrender.
Samyukta Kisan Morcha said farmers from Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and other states witnessed the “ardas”.
Priyanka Gandhi bowed to Guru Granth Sahib and offered flowers in front of the stage which had a poster with the photos of the dead farmers.
Signs aimed indirectly at her were placed on the road to Lakhimpur, allegedly by a member of the state minorities commission. “Nahin chahiye farzi sahanabhuti” (We don’t want false sympathy), they said. The posters also accused him of having a bloody past, an apparent reference to the anti-Sikh riots following the assassination of his grandmother Indira Gandhi in 1984.
No political leader was seated on the dais, according to the farmers’ decision announced earlier.
Priyanka Gandhi along with Congress leaders Deepender Singh Hooda, Ajay Kumar Lallu and others reached the venue around 1 p.m. and sat down in front of the stage.
RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary was arrested by officials at Bareilly airport for about 45 minutes before being cleared to head for Lakhimpur.
A congressional spokesperson claimed that party leaders accompanying Priyanka Gandhi were arrested at the Sitapaur tollgate, prompting heated exchanges.
District Samajwadi Party chairman Rampal Singh Yadav was among the party leaders who attended the prayer meeting.
Uttar Pradesh police and paramilitary forces have been deployed around the site, with senior officers, including an additional director general, camping in Tikonia.
The ceremony followed the “akhand path” which began on Sunday at the Kaudiyala Ghat gurdwara in the village.
Prayers were offered to farmers Daljeet Singh and Gurvinder Singh from Bahraich district, as well as Nachhatar Singh and Lavpreet Singh from Lakhimpur Kheri district. Journalist Raman Kashyap’s brother and daughter were also part of the antim ardas ceremony.
Farmers’ unions called for the burning of effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Dussehra, a six-hour “rail tour” on October 18 and a “Kisan Mahapanchayat” In the state capital on October 26. .
Before that, the ashes of the farmers will be transported to different states and to the 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh as part of a “Shaheed Kisan Yatra”.