Lakhimpur Kheri/Lucknow: There was little doubt that after Sunday’s violent clashes that broke out in Lakhimpur Kheri that Lucknow or the rest of Uttar Pradesh will not see any political action.
After all eight people including farmers, a driver, young political workers of BJP and a journalist died in the eye to eye physical confrontation.
Every political player eyeing Uttar Pradesh elections in 2022 – whether Samajwadi Party, Aam Aadmi, Rashtriya Lok Dal or Congress – saw their leaders arriving at Lucknow’s Amausi airport or holding sit-ins and demonstrations on roads between Vikramaditya Marg to Lohia Path in UP capital.
Through out the day, Congress general secretary (organisation) Priyanka Gandhi, Rashtriya Lok Dal supremo Jayant Chaudhary, Aam Aadmi Party Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav raised a banner of protests.
They were detained at either locations before Lakhimpir Kheri — the epicentre of protests — or in Lucknow.
“You can’t detain me here without a warrant” Gandhi argued with the police as she was asked to stay put in Sitapur district’s Police Lines. She was joined by Haryana MP Deepender Hooda.
“They aren’t allowing us to leave Lucknow,” said Yadav.
Chhatisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel too tweeted that he has been conveyed that he would not be allowed to leave the Lucknow airport if he arrived.
The Yogi government argued that the leaders were paratrooping from Delhi only to compound law and order situation,raise frayed tempers or foment violence in the state when UP police and farmers were busy hammering out a peace deal.
But the afternoon decision by the Yogi Adityanath government to stop the political slugfest and announce the compensation package — Rs 45 lakh ex-gratia for for every bereaved family of the dead — and Rs 10 lakh for the injured apart from a job ended the stalemate.
Representatives of farmers including Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait and UP police ADGP law and order Prashant Kumar both shared stage and posed for photographers while hammering out truce.
Earlier in the day, it was a tough time for paramilitary force and UP Police to stop the demonstrations or detain these leaders to ensure peace is not disrupted.
But Tikait’s message with UP Police was seen as a clear attempt to allow situation from deteriorating any further.
Kumar told media,” We will have the matter probed by a retired high court judge. Without any discrimination, the bereaved families will be given ex gratia including Rs 45 lakh to each family of the dead, Rs 10 lakh for those injured and a government job too for the kin of those killed during clashes”.
The 1990-batch IPS also said that no political leader of any party would be allowed to venture into any areas of Lakhimpur Kheri to disturb the situation or incite sentiments irrespective of any political affiliation.
Some in UP though said that what could have led to the softening of stand by farmers was brutal twin killings of a young BJP supporter Shubham Mishra and the driver of his car Hari Om Mishra, both of whom were clubbed to death allegedly by sharp weapons of the farmers while the duo was on their way to watch a wrestling match.
The incident came to fore after Shubham’s father Vijay Mishra wrote a damning letter to the Lakhimpur Kheri Police that his son and car’s driver had gone to see a wrestling competition when they were dragged into the violence where they faced farmers ire who killed them.
“In the process, my son’s phone, his gold chain got disappeared too. I got the details of this entire unfortunate incident from two men LuvKush and Ashish. I am just returning after cremating my son’s body to file this complaint to the police,” Mishra wrote to the UP Police.