In a tragic incident today, 8 lives were lost in Lakhimpur, Uttar Pradesh. While four of the dead are from “farmers” protesting against the farm laws who apparently died after coming under a car, the other four are BJP workers, who were lynched by the “farmers” after the accident.
The facts of the matter are still contested by both sides. However, based on the currently available information, we are giving the sequence of events according to both sides.
The story told by “farmers”
The news first broke on social media by “farmer” handles who have in past few months created a commanding presence on Twitter and other media. According to them, BJP MP and Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son had deliberately run over some farmers in Lakhimpur and killed them. Referring to an earlier statement of the minister, they blamed him in the manner that Kapil Mishra was blamed for Delhi riots.
This narrative was also pushed by the left liberal mediapersons and opposition parties, and many opposition leaders are set to reach Lakhimpur tomorrow. The feast of the vultures has already started.
Holes in the story of “farmers”
However this story by the “farmers” has many holes and raises many questions:-
- Why would a party which has tolerated hooliganism by the “farmers” in national capital and other areas since months suddenly develop interest in murdering them at a nondescript village in Lakhimpur?
- The “farmers” claim that the son of minister Ajay Mishra was there at the site and personally “run over” the farmers. So how could he escape hundreds of protesters at the site ? The videos clearly show that the vehicle was immediately surrounded by the protesters and the occupants were brutally lynched!
- Why were the innocent “farmers” wearing T Shirts with photo of slain terrorist Bhinderewala, as shown in many videos?
- Why have these “farmers”, even until now, not acknowledged the lynching of BJP workers, despite video evidence?
The version of minister Ajay Mishra
In the meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Home, Ajay Kumar Mishra – whose son is being accused of running the car over “farmers”- has come out with a different version of events on various media channels. According to him, there was a programme in his constituency which was to be attended by Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya. From the time the programme started at 11 AM , his son was present there at the function. He claims that more than 2000 people are witness to it and there is photographic and video evidence to prove that his son was present at the function when this incident happened.
According to him, his car was being driven by a BJP worker and was ferrying 3 other workers, when the protesters started pelting stones on the cars. One stone apparently hit the driver and he died. The car lost balance and hit protesters, four of whom died in the accident.
After this the “farmers” lynched 3 other BJP workers to death while videos have emerged of two others being forced to say that they were sent by Ajay Mishra to kill “farmers”. We are putting the tweet containing the video below where some people are egging the lynching “farmers” to finish off the injured BJP workers. A few persons also caution against making videos of the whole spectacle.
Another video shows the Punjabi speaking “farmers” killing a second BJP worker and also damaging the vehicle.
In another video, a badly injured person is being forced to say that BJP leader had asked him to deliberately kill “farmers”, although he stood his ground.
In another video, a petrified BJP worker is being intimidated by the farmers to say what they want him to say. The BJP worker can be heard crying, after possibly being afraid for his life due to witnessing the rioters kill 4 of his comrades. He mentions that he has two small kids and no guns and that he was just trying to save his life.
The fate of those people captured by the farmers remains unknown at the time of writing this.
Fanning the fire
The whole duration of protest has seen very aggressive tactics by farmers and the rhetoric is “to teach a lesson to BJP leaders and workers”. Rakesh Tikait even today warned that “not a single BJP leader shall be able to leave their house” if government does not bend.
In past, BJP workers have faced violence of these hooligans and even an MLA Arun Narang was humiliated and almost lynched in Punjab. If the responsibility of Delhi riots was fixed on Kapil Mishra’s warning, when would the responsibility of violence against BJP workers be fixed on head of “farmer leaders”?
In the meanwhile conspiracy theories abound in social media with “farmers” claiming that BJP killed its own workers to fix the blame on farmers!
Unfortunately, this would probably be taken as Brahmavakya by the protesters.
Conspiracy to kill the minister?
The whole series of events also seems to be a conspiracy to kill the minister. There is no doubt that if the cars were carrying the minister or his son, they too would be lynched to death on the spot.
There was probably a conspiracy to spark large-scale violence in the country again, which was somehow averted. Looking at the events of Jan 26, this does not look far fetched. This angle too merits a serious investigation by the agencies.
Sikh protests in Punjab, Uttarakhand and other places
Immediately afterwards, there have been reports of protests by Sikhs in many parts of UP, Uttarakhand and Punjab in solidarity with the dead “farmers” of Lakhimpur and against the BJP. In Uttarakhand, reports are coming that the Nainital Dehradun highway has been closed in Gadarpur- a Sikh dominated city in Uttarakhand- by protesters. There are reports of protests from various other towns and cities of Punjab and Haryana.
There should be no hesitation in saying that the “farmer” protests have long been hijacked by Sikh extremists and foreign based Khalistani supporters. They have also got full support of Breaking Bharat forces. The other farmer communities of Haryana, west UP and northern Rajasthan have become pawns in this game, which – in words of Deep Sidhu- aims to “change the geopolitics of India as well as South Asia”.
The events of Lakhimpur require an swift and impartial investigation with ruthless measures taken to stop the escalation of tensions. A prominent Twitter handle reporting on protests has posted that Rakesh Tikait’s contingent “mowed down” barricades at at least two locations while police are trying to stop him.
Administration has also rushed senior police officers to the site of incident, restricted the internet in Lakhimpur Khiri, registered FIRs for murder of BJP workers and taken other measures to stabilise the situation. However, the “farmer” organisations remain combative and have demanded removal of Ajay Mishra from union council of ministers, FIR against his son, judicial probe by a sitting SC judge and announced gherao of Collector offices across the country tomorrow.