India / UP govt allows Rahul, Priyanka Gandhi to visit Lakhimpur Kheri where farmers died

Zoom News : Oct 06, 2021, 02:28 PM
Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday granted permission to Rahul, his sister Priyanka Gandhi and three other Congress leaders to visit Lakhimpur Kheri, where eight people were killed in violence on Sunday, news agency ANI reported.

Rahul Gandhi landed at Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport in Amausi area of Lucknow on Wednesday afternoon. Party spokesperson Lallan Kumar said that Rahul Gandhi will first go to Sitapur and then leave with Priyanka for Lakhimpur Kheri. Gandhi arrived from Delhi along with Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi and his Chhattisgarh counterpart Bhupesh Baghel. Till now, the state government had denied permission to politicians, due to which Priyanka Gandhi was detained at a guest house in Sitapur and Baghel stopped at Lucknow airport.

The five-member Congress delegation will meet families of farmers who lost their lives in the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri.

Lakhimpur Kheri district magistrate earlier announced that Section 144 has been imposed in the district, which prohibits assembly of four or more people, and denied permission to the Congress delegation. After this, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal sent a letter to UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath and the state's chief secretary saying many politicians have visited the area and only they are being denied the permission.

He asked the state government to shed "obstructive and unconstitutional posturing" and allow Congress delegation to meet the families of the deceased farmers.

The UP government, meanwhile, said on Wednesday that the opposition has adopted a “negative” attitude in the “sensitive” incident and warned that no one will be allowed to vitiate the atmosphere. Government spokesperson and cabinet minister Sidharth Nath Singh said that the state government will go deep into the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

Referring to Rahul Gandhi's visit, he said that "yuvraj" of a party has decided to go for political tourism as his sister is already there. Priyanka Gandhi has claimed that she was detained without any case and slammed the Yogi Adityanath government. The police registered a case against her and 11 others for trying to distub peace in the area.

Violence broke out in Tikunia, about 70 koilometres from Lakhimpur district centre, after a car ran over a group of protesters. The protesters claimed the car belonged to the convoy of Union minister Ajay Mishra Teni's son Ashish. Four farmers were killed in the incident, and according to the police, four others died after being thrashed by the farmers.

The Union minister has denied all the allegations and claimed his son was not present at the site. He added that some miscreants mingled with protesting farmers and pelted the stones at the car which lead to the 'unfortunate incident'. However, a viral video on social media shows the jeep running over the farmers who were coming back from a protest. The police have said that they are investigating the video.

Since the incident, a number of politicians have tried to visit Lakhimpur Kheri but were not given the permission. Among them were Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, his uncles Shivpal and Ramgopal Yadav and Bhupesh Baghel.

Before leaving for Lucknow, Rahul Gandhi addressed a press conference on the issue in New Delhi where he alleged that farmers are being "systematically attacked" and there is "dictatorship" in India now with politicians not being allowed to visit Uttar Pradesh to meet the families of the victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.