A BKU-Tikait office-bearer informed on Monday that no politician will be allowed to share the stage with farmer leaders during the 'antim ardas' prayers(final prayers) for the four farmers killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident. The preparation for the prayers is being made in a field away from the site of violence. Four farmers were killed when three SUVs ran into protesting farmers in Tikonia village in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3rd. The vehicle allegedly carried BJP workers, including Union Minister Ajay Mishra's son Ashish Mishra. Both the son and the father have denied the allegations.
"The 'antim ardas' for all the deceased farmers will be held on Tuesday at Tikonia," BKU-Tikait's district president Amandeep Singh Sandhu said.
"Farmers and leaders of various farm unions from various states and districts of Uttar Pradesh will participate in the 'ardas' and 'bhog' programme in Tikonia," Sandhu said. "No other programme apart from the 'antim ardas' and the 'bhog' has been communicated so far," he added.
"No political leader will be allowed to share the stage where only Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) leaders will be present," BKU-Tikait district vice president Balkar Singh clarified.
The SKM is spearheading the protest against the three controversial farm laws. It is an umbrella organisation of several farmer unions. The SKM has demanded the arrest of both Ajay Mishra and Ashish Mishra in the incident. While two named in the FIR was arrested on Thursday, Ashish Mishra was arrested on Saturday after 12 hours of questioning.
The farmer union has given the government a set of demands. In case of failure to concede to the demands, farmers have said that they will take out a Shaheed Kisan Yatra from Lakhimpur with the ashes of the farmers. The SKM has also called for a countrywide rail roko protest from 10 AM to 4 PM on October 18th and a mahapanchayat in Lucknow on October 26th.
SKM leader Yogendra Yadav has demanded that Ajay Mishra be dismissed from the cabinet and arrested on charges of spreading disharmony, murder and conspiracy. He further alleged that the union minister is protecting the culprits in the case.
The investigation in the FIR pertaining to the violence is being conducted by a nine-member SIT team headed by Deputy Inspector General of Police (Headquarters) Upendra Agarwal.