Lakhimpur Kheri Violence: Akhilesh Yadav detained following his Dharna; death toll rises to 9
As Lakhimpur Kheri turned into a fortress a day after eight people were killed during a farmers' protest yesterday over a statement made by Minister of State Ajay Mishra Teni at an event earlier in the day, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was detained and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav sat on dharna outside his residence. A local journalist who had been missing since yesterday succumbed to his injuries, bringing the total number of people killed in the incident to nine. According to reports, the violence erupted after two SUVs allegedly drove over four anti-farm legislation demonstrators on their way to their villages after Minister of State Ajay Mishra Teni made a statement at a program hosted by UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Maurya.
After the incident, angry farmers present at the spot allegedly torched a vehicle belonging to the ministers convoy. UP DGP Mukul Goel said a total of 8 persons died in the incident. Out of the eight, four were farmers and the remaining four were others who were in the vehicles, he said, also appealing for peace to be maintained and assured that action would be taken against culprits.
Sukhwinder Singh (20), Satnam Singh (20), Hari Singh (35), and Subba Singh (20) are the four farmers who died, according to the district magistrate (65). All of them are from the Bahraich and Kheri districts. Farmers claim Teni's son Ashish Mishra was behind the wheel of the car that ran over the farmers. In response to the charges, Teni stated that his son was not even present at the time the incident occurred. He criticized the incident, calling it a "plot," and claiming that his vehicle, which was being driven by his chauffeur, was showered with stones, overturning and trapping two farmers below.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed grief over the happenings, and said, Such incidents are unfortunate. The government will ensure that the matter is thoroughly investigated and the involvement of anti-social elements is brought to light. We will take strict action against those involved.
As a result of the event, internet services in Lakhimpur have been shut down. All highways going to Lakhimpur were also shut along Lucknow's borders.
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