Speaking to ANI Ashwani Kumar said: “Such murder of democracy has never been seen in post-independent India. Eight innocent people were killed, the leaders of the country want to go and sympathise with them and pay their tributes but they are being stopped. This never happened even during the British times.”
“Is Uttar Pradesh not a part of India? Leaders like Priyanka Gandhi and Bhupesh Baghel are being prevented from going to UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri. This is as much as their country as Yogi Ji’s. Wherever there is an accident, any person should have the right to reach out to express their condolences. This is an attack on democracy and freedom,” said Kumar.
The Congress leader also criticised the UP government for stopping Opposition leaders from visiting Lakhimpur Kheri.
“Why Priyanka Gandhi is being stopped? Why other leaders are being stopped? The leaders from Punjab want to visit, we all want to visit there and express condolences, why can’t we go? If we want to protest there, we have the freedom to protest in a democracy,” he added.
Ashwani Kumar further said, “What is the question of its politicisation? Why did this incident happen? If you look at these killings in their context, then I think we have the right to protest and this should not be taken away from us.”
Several Opposition leaders from various parties including Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa are scheduled to visit Lakhimpur Kheri today.
The Uttar Pradesh government has also urged Lucknow airport not to allow Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel and Punjab Deputy CM Sukhjinder S Randhawa to land at the airport ahead of their scheduled visit to Lakhimpur Kheri today.
As many as eight people died in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident on Sunday, said police.
Additional Superintendent of Police, Lakhimpur Kheri Arun Kumar Singh confirmed eight deaths including four farmers and four occupants of the vehicles that allegedly ran over the farmers.
Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of several farmer unions, alleged that Ashish Mishra Teni, son of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra Teni arrived with three vehicles around the time that farmers were dispersing from their protest at the helipad and mowed down farmers and towards the end also attacked SKM leader Tajinder Singh Virk directly, by trying to run a vehicle over him.
However, Ashish Mishra refuted SKM’s allegations and said he was not present at the spot where the incident took place. (ANI)