India: Car mows down protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri

In a shocking incident on Sunday (03 October), reported from Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh, India, at least four farmers were killed after a car ploughed into the crowd. Since then, the farmers’ unions have alleged that a Senior Minister’s son was driving the vehicle in question. Enraged farmers at the site reportedly retaliated, and cars were torched. The State Police took to Twitter early on Monday to describe the incident as “unfortunate” and said eight casualties had been reported till now as per the district administration.

Samyukta Kisan Morcha(SKM), the coalition of farm unions spearheading the farm protests for nearly a year, has condemned the incident and called for the immediate arrest of the perpetrators and the concerned minister’s resignation. 

In a video posted late in the night on the official Facebook handle of Rakesh Tikait, one of the prominent faces of the farmers’ protest is heard appealing to the farmers to maintain peace and not be provoked.

“We will not move anywhere until those who carried out this cruel act are brought to justice. Those drunk with power are now arrogant enough to run cars over us. We must also be aware that all this is a part of the conspiracy to provoke our movement. They want us to retaliate to use it as an excuse to oppress us with force. We are aware of these wicked plans. We want those criminals to be booked immediately.”

A few days ago, the Chief Minister of the nearby State of Haryana had courted controversy over his advice to the party cadre for tit-for-tat action against the farmers opposing the farm laws in his state.

SKM has called for a nationwide protest on Monday to condemn the Lakhimpur Kheri incident. As per the latest media reports, a murder case has been filed against Union Minister’s son. Several other people have also been named in the First Information Report (FIR).

(This is still a developing story, and more details will be posted as verified reports arrive. This post was last updated 04 October, 08h00 AM CET )