Uttar Pradesh Minister Sidharth Nath Singh on Monday slammed the Opposition leaders trying to make their way to Lakhimpur Kheri where at least eight persons were killed in clashes on Sunday.
"We are taking this matter seriously and it is under investigation. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said that culprits will be punished. The opposition is using the incident for political tourism and political competition as polls are around the corner," Sidharth Nath Singh told news agency ANI.
Speaking about Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's visit to Lakhimpur Kheri, Sidharth Nath Singh said the former was indulging in political tourism.
"We've seen Priyanka Gandhi Vadra doing political tourism earlier. It is an attempt to hamper the probe and manipulate public opinion. This shouldn't happen. They should at least wait for 24 hours or visit after there's a result to the probe," he said.
The Uttar Pradesh Minister said that while there was no problem in expressing opinions, but trying to complete the election journey through the tragedies would not help the Opposition.
"There is no issue in presenting your opinion. But if they want to complete their journey till 2022 election over dead bodies, then it won't happen," Sidharth Nath Singh told ANI.
As many as eight people were killed on Sunday as violence erupted during a farmers' protest, claiming the lives of both farmers and BJP workers ahead of a visit to Lakhimpur by Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, officials told PTI.
Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of several farmer unions, alleged that Ashish Mishra Teni, son of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra Teni arrived with three vehicles around the time that farmers were dispersing from their protest at the helipad and mowed down farmers and towards the end also attacked SKM leader Tajinder Singh Virk directly, by trying to run a vehicle over him.
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 inputs from ANI and PTI)