Farmers' agitation to continue after 'antim ardaas' in Kheri on Tuesday
New Delhi, Oct 11: Terming Tuesday 'Shaheed Kisan Diwas', the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Monday said the "antim ardaas" of the martyrs of Lakhimpur Kheri massacre will take place in Tikunia in the Uttar Pradesh district and appealed supporters to pay homage with a candlelight vigil.
"Tens of thousands of farmers are expected to join the prayer meeting at Tikunia. SKM appeals the farmers' organisations and other progressive groups across the country to mark the Shaheed Kisan Diwas by organising prayer and homage meetings all over the country with candlelight vigils in the evening," the SKM said in a release here.
Nine people, including farmers and a journalist, were moved down on October 3 during a farmers' protest allegedly by vehicles which belonged to Union Minister Ajay Misra Teni and his son, Ashish Misra, is accused of being in one of the vehicles then.
Stating that it is shameful for the Modi government that the Minister has not been sacked yet, the SKM said: "Due to the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, his earlier history of criminal cases has come into the public gaze, it is clear that in the Lakhimpur Kheri massacre itself, he had a role to play. It was his vehicles that were in the convoy that killed innocent people."
"The fact that Teni had sought to promote enmity, hatred and disharmony is clear from his speech on October 25 against Sikhs of Terai region. His speech was of intimidation and threat, in a public meeting at that, where he was also proudly alluding to his criminal antecedents, and on the basis of this, stern action should have taken place by now, which could have prevented the entire episode of Lakhimpur Kheri massacre," the SKM said.
The SKM had already issued an ultimatum about Monday being the deadline for sacking and arrest of the Minister. "Tomorrow, in the prayer meetings organised in Lakhimpur Kheri for the martyrs of the massacre, SKM will go ahead with its announced plan of action. SKM reiterates that the farmers' movement cannot be dissipated or weakened by BJP-RSS playing their communal card. Farmers of the country are united in their struggle," the release said.
Uttar Pradesh Police is laying curbs on movement of several farmers and farmer leaders to prevent them from proceeding to Lakhimpur Kheri, the SKM claimed and added, "Reports have come in of several AIKMS leaders being illegally detained in Bara in Prayagraj."
On the reports indicating that Uttar Pradesh government is deploying police and paramilitary forces in anticipation of the farmers' protests, the SKM said: "It is indeed regrettable that instead of assuring actions that will restore justice and thereby prevent intensification of protests, UP Government is preparing for protests that will follow lack of correct action, in its attempt to protect culprits associated with BJP."