The Bharatiya Kisan Union on Monday announced that no politician will be on stage when the final prayers for the farmers killed in Lakhimpur Kheri violence will be performed on Tuesday. Preparations for the final prayers, or the antim ardas, are underway at a field, away from the spot where an SUV, allegedly carrying BJP workers and Union minister Ashish Mishra’s son, ran over four protesting farmers.
“The 'antim ardas' for all the deceased farmers will be held on Tuesday at Tikonia,” BKU-Tikait's district president Amandeep Singh Sandhu was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. The group's district vice-president Balkar Singh outlined that except the leaders of Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella group of protesting farmers' unions, no other politicians will be allowed to be present on stage.
“No political leader will be allowed to share the stage where only Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) leaders will be present," said Balkar Singh.
Sukhdev Singh, the uncle of the dead farmer Gurvinder Singh, a resident of Moharnia village under the Matera police station of Bahraich, told PTI that a "bhog" was held at the houses of Gurvinder Singh and Daljit Singh of Banjaran Tada, who had died during the October 3 violence. A separate "paath" has been kept for the dead farmers at the Kaudiyala Ghat gurdwara, which will be followed by a collective "antim ardas" and "langar" on Tuesday, he said.
Eight people died in the October 3 violence and of them four were farmers, allegedly knocked down by a vehicle carrying BJP workers. Infuriated farmers then allegedly lynched some people in the vehicles.
The other dead included two BJP workers and their driver. A local scribe had also died in the incident.
Farmers claimed that Union Minister Ajay Mishra's son Ashish Mishra was in one of the vehicles, an allegation denied by him and his father. The SKM had demanded the arrest of the father-son duo.
Ashish Mishra was arrested after 12 hours of questioning late on Saturday night.
A nine-member SIT team headed by Deputy Inspector General of Police (Headquarters) Upendra Agarwal has been formed to investigate the FIR lodged against the minister's son and others in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
(With agency inputs)