About Eight India Farmers Killed During Protest

October 4, 2021

At least eight people, including four farmers, have been killed when violence broke out in India’s Uttar Pradesh state after a convoy of cars linked to a federal minister’s son ran over a group of farmers protesting against farm laws, according to local media reports.

Farmers’ outfits said the son of India’s Deputy Home Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra was in one of the cars involved in the accident in Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh. Mishra however rejected the claim.

Police and several other district officials have confirmed the death toll, but did not share details of the accident that took place at Tikonia-Banbirpur road, some 130km (81 miles) from the state capital, Lucknow.

“Eight persons have died in the Lakhimpur [Kheri] incident,” senior police official Arun Kumar Singh was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.

Two farmers were killed after being hit by the car. In subsequent violence, three members of the governing Bharatiya Janata Party, a driver and two other farmers were killed, according to party and officials.

Farmers were holding protests in Lakhimpur Kheri since Sunday morning against the visit of Mishra and Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya – both belonging to the BJP.

Farmers’ outfits claim that they were staging a demonstration on the road when the incoming cavalcade ran over a group of protesters in a dramatic escalation of their 10-month-old protest against farm laws that they say will benefit corporates at the cost of millions of farmers.

The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi insists that the farm laws are important to bring investment in a sector whose contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) has been gradually going down.

Farmer leaders have demanded actions against the culprits and the removal of the minister from his post.

“We demand the MoS Home [Mishra] be removed from his cabinet rank and murder charges be slapped against his son, who ran his vehicle over the farmers and others involved in the incident,” farmer leader Darshan Pal told Al Jazeera over the phone.

“We also demand that an investigation under the supervision of a Supreme Court judge be ordered into this gruesome incident.”

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