India / Varun Gandhi seeks SC-monitored CBI probe into Lakhimpur violence

Zoom News : Oct 05, 2021, 07:14 AM
LUCKNOW: BJP MP from Pilibhit Varun Gandhi on Monday termed the Lakhimpur incident in which protesting farmers were killed as “unforgivable” in “any decent civilisation”.

In a letter dashed to CM Yogi Adityanath, Varun said that the “entire country” was “enraged” and “pained” by the incident which took place just a day after the country celebrated the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi who was a proponent of non-violence.

His apparent hardened stance came close on the heels of a high voltage political slugfest that erupted over the incident between the opposition and the ruling BJP in Lucknow.

Seeking a Supreme Court-monitored CBI probe into the incident, Varun said that the people involved in the incident should be swiftly identified and booked under Section 302 of the IPC. He also demanded a compensation of Rs 1 crore to the families of the victims and an assurance that no such incident would re-occur in the future.

The BJP MP said that protesting farmers were citizens of the country. “If they had any apprehensions and were staging a demonstration in a democratic way then it is our duty to exercise restraint and endurance,” Varun said in the letter. He asserted that it was the duty of the government to deal with farmers in a “Gandhian”, “democratic” and “sensitive” manner. “I express my grief for farmers who got killed in the incident,” Varun said.

Last month, Varun became one of the few leaders in the party to come out in support of farmers who had gathered in Muzaffarnagar on September 5 in protest of farm laws. “Lakhs of farmers have gathered in protest today in Muzaffarnagar. They are our own flesh and blood,” he had tweeted, insisting that the government needs to start re-engaging with the farmers in a “respectful” manner, understand their pain, their point of view and work with them in reaching common ground.

His tweet came on a day when farmers from Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and other states gathered in large numbers for a Mahapanchayat at Muzaffarnagar in West UP.

Experts said that Varun’s recent observation vis-a-vis farmers attained much political significance even as the state heads for a high stake assembly election due in the next few months. His statements were seen as a strong pointers towards some of the BJP ranks who were sensing the need to re-start a dialogue with the farmers, staging a raging protest for the past 10 months.

Varun’s remarks, sources in the BJP said, were also crucial since he represents Pilibhit which lies in UP’s Terai region and is home to a large number of Punjabi origin farmers. Gandhi’s own maternal family hails from the region. Lakhimpur too has a sizable population of farmers. As a matter of fact, Punjabi origin farmers of the Terai regions of UP, too, have been at the forefront of the protests.

Gandhi had also demanded that the State Advisory Price (SAP) for the forthcoming cane crushing season in UP be raised to Rs 400 per quintal. The state government last month increased the SAP by Rs 25 per quintal after keeping the rates unchanged for three years.