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UP Violence: Lakhimpur Kheri Video Goes Viral; Families Want Autopsy Report Before Cremation

Ayushi Raina
Ayushi Raina
Protesting farmers being run over by a SUV in Lakhimpur Kheri

On social media, a video reportedly showing protesting farmers being run over by a SUV in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, has gone viral. The video was published on Twitter for the first time on Monday by Tractor for Twitter, an account established by farmers opposing the Centre's contentious farm bills.

On Sunday, four farmers and one freelance journalist were among the eight persons murdered in Lakhimpur Kheri.

The video is 29 seconds long. The authorities are still investigating its authenticity. The images released do not show who is driving the SUV. The car is seen crashing into people who fall down in the footage, while others attempt to flee the scene. The first car was followed by another SUV with sirens on.

BJP MP Varun Gandhi was among the numerous political leaders and individuals who shared the video on social media.

Protesting farmers claim that the deaths were caused by an SUV driven by Union minister Ajay Kumar Mishra's son, Ashish Mishra. The minister, on the other hand, claims that his son was not there at the scene. Ashish has been charged against murder, according to the FIR.

Families of the murdered farmers stated on Monday that they would not cremate the bodies until they receive copies of the autopsy reports.

While protests and emotions remained high at the site for the most of Sunday and Monday, including the display of the bodies of the slain farmers, the area was cleared up by Monday afternoon.

Rakesh Tikait, Union leader of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, spoke to the senior leaders in the UP govt. before speaking to the protestors at the site, urging them to go home and assuring that justice would be delivered.

“Veer shahidon ka balidan, yaad karega Hindustan,” Tikait remarked, adding that the fact that a murder case had been filed against Ashish Mishra and Rs.45 lakh compensation had been granted to the victim’s families was a major victory.

“Neither the minister nor his son will be spared... Tikait assured the protestors that he would quit his ministerial position.” The BKU stated that if appropriate action is not taken within 10-12 days of the murdered men's funeral, a mahapanchayat will be convened.

The administration has stated that the incident would be probed by a retired judge.

A counter-FIR has been filed against protesting farmers in addition to the case against Ashish Mishra and others. The first FIR was filed under Sections 302 (murder), 120-B (criminal conspiracy), and 147 (rioting) of the Indian Penal Code.

On Monday, many opposition leaders were detained as they tried to visit the victims' relatives. Among them was Congress politician Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who has already been detained for more than 28 hours.

She asked why the police were taking action against her rather than the driver of the car on Tuesday morning, while releasing the alleged footage of the incident.

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