Lakhimpur Kheri: Protesting farmers and the govt reach a settlement, confirms farmer leader Rakesh Tikait

The Uttar Pradesh government announced a payment of up to Rs 45 lakh to each family of those who died at Lakhimpur Kheri, besides ensuring a government job for a family member. An FIR has been filed and a judicial enquiry announced too. Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait confirmed with Gaon Connection that a settlement has been reached.

Gaon Connection
| Updated: October 4th, 2021

The violence in Lakhimpur Kheri claimed eight lives, including four farmers, three supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and their driver. The state government has announced it would pay the families of the deceased Rs 40 lakh to Rs 45 lakh and provide a government job to any one family member.  A judicial enquiry has also been announced.

And with this it seems the confrontation between the protesting farmers and the government has come to an end.

“There can be no making peace with death. But, this was a pain filled incident. However, the decision to file an FIR against Union minister Ajay Kumar Mishra and his son means there will be a proper judicial inquiry too,” Rakesh Tikait, national spokesperson for Bharatiya Kisan Union, told Gaon Connection.   

Also Read: Farmers’ protest: The battlefield shifts to Lakhimpur Kheri

“There has been a settlement between the subcommittee. The government has given us an assurance and also offered help to the families of the deceased farmers. Another committee will be set up to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident (Lakhimpur Kheri violence),” the farmer leader said.

On being asked by Gaon Connection, if he was satisfied with the government’s offer, Tikait said: “Hain, santusht hain (yes, we are satisfied)”

Tikait along with several other farmer leaders had reached the scene of the clash late last night. Together they had a closed door meeting with the farmers where the district magistrate Arvind Kumar Chaurasiya and the superintendent of police were also present.  

At the press conference following the meeting, the farmers announced that they would decide on their next course of action only after they obtained a copy of the FIR. 

According to the press statement, the protesting farmers demanded that Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Kumar Mishra be dismissed from his post and a case be registered against him under section 120B of the penal code. The farmers also demanded his son, Ashish Mishra, be arrested. 

Also Read: After 8 deaths in Lakhimpur Kheri, India’s farmer-govt standoff set to explode in election-bound Uttar Pradesh

Yesterday, on October 3, Uttar Pradesh’s Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Maurya was visiting the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Kumar Mishra’s village in Tikunia, Lakhimpur Kheri for a dangal (wrestling match), when local farmers and the supporters of the political leaders clashed leading to eight deaths.

It is claimed that four farmers were mowed down by the minister’s son Ashish Mishra’s car, and four more people, including three BJP members, were lynched. But, the minister has denied these allegations. An FIR has however been filed against Ashish Mishra. 

Also Read: When Lakhimpur Kheri’s annual dangal turned deadly; eight people killed

On October 3, there was a wrestling match arranged in Tikuniya village in Lakhimpur Kheri in memory of the father of Ajay Kumar Mishra. The deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya was to attend the wrestling event and was to land at a helipad three kilometres away from the village.  However, the farmers had gheraoed the helipad in protest against the arrival of the deputy chief minister.    

Soon there were violent clashes and eight people were killed. 

The protesting farmers want the families of the deceased farmers to be given Rs 10 million each, besides a government job. Until that was agreed upon, the bodies of those who died in the clash would remain uncremated and no post mortem would be allowed, said Tikait. 

Also Read: UP govt to give Rs 45 lakh and govt job to the families of every person who died in Lakhimpur Kheri violence

Opposition leaders, Akhilesh Yadav, president of the Samajwadi Party, and Priyanka Gandhi, general secretary of the All India Congress Committee in charge of Uttar Pradesh, were prevented from entering Lakhimpur Kheri following which they were arrested. Yadav has now been released.   

Read the story in Hindi.