In signs of truce between the Uttar Pradesh government and farmers over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence that left eight people, including four farmers, dead on Sunday, the state police announced an ex gratia of Rs 45 lakh for the kin of each of the deceased and Rs 10 lakh each for the injured.
Appearing in a joint press conference with BKU’s Rakesh Tikait on Monday, UP Additional DG, Law and Order, Prashant Kumar, announced that the state government after talks with farmer representatives had decided to agree to their demands.
“The kin of the decreased will be given an ex gratia of Rs 45 lakh and a government job. Each injured will be given Rs 10 lakh. FIRs under relevant sections will be lodged as demanded by the farmers. The incident will be probed by a retired high court judge and perpetrators caught within eight days,” said Kumar.
The state government may just have averted a major crisis in the area with the Additional DG reiterating that no politicians would be allowed to enter Lakhimpur Kheri as Section 144 of the CrPC has been imposed to maintain law and order.
The Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which Samyukta Kisan Morcha has demanded the dismissal of MoS Home Ajay Mishra alleging that his son had run the protesting farmers over.
The entire opposition has thrown its weight behind the farmers with leaders of all hues lining up to reach the violence-hit village.
The state police have not allowed entry to anyone.
AICC general secretary Priyanka Vadra has been detained at Sitapur guesthouse near the epicentre of violence, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel and Punjab CM Charanjit Channi have not been allowed to land in Lucknow, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav hasn’t been allowed to move out of his Lucknow home, BSP and TMC leaders have also been stopped.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, meanwhile, has appealed to people to await the results of the investigation and not reach any conclusion or get misled.
Yogi Adityanath has promised strict action against the accused.
For the ruling BJP, calling a truce with the farmers is of paramount importance to prevent the ongoing farmers’ movement against agriculture laws to spread beyond western UP.
Lakhimpur Kheri in central UP could become a hotbed of farmers’ dissent against the BJP going forward, something the opposition would try ahead of the 2022 state elections.
Lakhimpur Kheri would remain a test case for whether the farmers’ movement can be revived, especially at a time when the Supreme Court has also started questioning the protesters over the reason behind their angst considering the farm laws are already suspended and the apex court is seized of the matter.