4 Farmers Among 8 Killed In UP Violence Over Ministers

The violence started after the car mowed down the protesters for farmers, who had assembled to stop the visit of the Union Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Maurya

From Eight people, 4 of them are farmers, were killed in Uttar Pradesh after violence erupted on Sunday over a visit by two ministers, in a dramatic escalation of their 10-month long agitation over controversial new laws ahead of state polls early next year.

The farmers, who had assembled to stop the visit of the Union Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Maurya, said the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri district started after their car mowed down the protesters. Visuals from the area showed arson and vehicles set on fire.

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“The farmers had planned to gherao the helipad to stop the arrival of the ministers. Once that ended and most people were on way back, three cars came… and mowed down the farmers… one farmer died on the spot and another in the hospital,” said Dr Darshan Pal, a leader of the farmers’ union, adding that the minister’s son was in the car.

Union Minister of State Ajay Mishra has denied that son was linked to the violence. “My son wasn’t present at the spot. There were miscreants who attacked workers with sticks and swords. Had my son been there, he wouldn’t have come out alive,” Mr Mishra, the junior Home Minister, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. “My son was present at the venue of the (Deputy Chief Minister’s) event… all through, I was accompanying the deputy chief minister,” he said.

The minister said a section of farmers were holding protests. “They showed black flags and pelted stones on the car, which overturned. Two farmers came under the car and died. Three BJP workers and the car driver were beaten to death by some people,” he was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.

The minister also said they have video evidence of the violence that followed. The accident, he added, was not the fault of the party workers who came to receive the ministers at the makeshift helipad.

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