The Punjab Congress is scheduled to march to Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district on Thursday in protest against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the “brutal murders” of farmers. According to a report, an aide of the state unit chief, the march led by Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu will start from Mohali.
Earlier in the day, Sidhu had slammed the Uttar Pradesh police for detaining party leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and accused it of violating the spirit of the constitution.
“54 hours passed! @priyankagandhi Ji has not been produced before any Court…unlawful detention beyond 24 hours is a clear violation of the fundamental rights. BJP & UP Police: - You are violating the spirit of the Constitution, impinging on our basic human rights!” Sidhu tweeted in the morning.
Sidhu on Tuesday had said that the party's state unit would march towards Lakhimpur Kheri if Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra's son is not held in connection with the violence in Lakhimpur.
Notably, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel have announced ex-gratia of Rs 50 lakhs separately to the kin of four farmers who died in the Lakhimpur incident.
Meanwhile, a five-member Congress delegation led by Rahul Gandhi had left for violence-hit Lakhimpur Kheri from Lucknow airport on Wednesday. Gandhi was accompanied by senior party leaders including Bhupesh Baghel, Charanjit Channi, KC Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala.
Four of the eight dead in Sunday's violence in Lakhimpur Kheri were farmers, allegedly knocked down by vehicles driven by BJP workers travelling to welcome Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya to an event in the area.
However, Ashish Mishra refuted SKM's allegations and said he was not present at the spot where the incident took place. MoS Teni also said that his son was not present at the spot, adding that some miscreants mingled with protesting farmers and pelted the stones at the car which lead to the 'unfortunate incident'.
(With agency inputs)