The Lakhimpur Kheri violence in Uttar Pradesh that claimed eight lives on October 3 has earned wide criticism from the various quarters, including the farmer morchas in the length and breadth of the country.

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has condemned the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in Uttar Pradesh that claimed the lives of eight people, including four farmers and injured several others. Expressing grief over the incident, the JIH has offered its condolences to the bereaved.

In a statement on October 4, JIH Vice President Prof. Salim Engineer said: “It is being said that the violence was not an accident but a deliberate conspiracy. Using this incident as a pretext, the farmers’ agitation is being labelled as illegal and was put down using force. The incident has made it plain for the people of Uttar Pradesh and the whole country that their fundamental rights are being crushed using different methods and ploys. We demand a high-level inquiry into the entire episode.”

The JIH leader pointed out, “The farmers who are agitating peacefully are being oppressed by elements that are aligned with the government. The people of India are observing these developments closely. Such incidents stand condemned in any functioning democracy. We demand that the UP government must allow the law to take its course against all those involved in the killing of the farmers, no matter how well they might be politically connected.”

Prof. Salim Engineer has demanded the government to give a compensation of Rs. one crore each to the families of the deceased. “The government must refrain from deploying illegitimate means for stopping the farmers to exercise their democratic right to protest. Such authoritarian behaviour sullies the image of the country and our dream to be an ideal functioning democracy is not realised,” he added.

Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR), a civil rights advocacy group dedicated to the protection and advancement of civil and human rights in India, said, “A total of eight people had died in Lakhimpur Kheri’s horrendous incident of violence in the midst of the farmers’ peaceful protests over the anti-farmer laws on the visit of Union Minister Ajay Mishra in Lakhimpur on October 3. Minister’s son Ashish Mishra was named in the FIR filed by the Uttar Pradesh Police and accused of mowing down protesting farmers. It is important to note that the incident took place after a provocative speech made by Ajay Mishra a few days back about quelling the farmer’s protests in just two minutes. Though a case of murder has been made by the police no arrests have been done so far.”

APCR General Secretary, Mr Malik Motasim Khan has strongly condemned the Lakhimpur Kheri violence and said, “It is not only the precious human lives which are lost but our democratic right to dissent has also been laid down on deathbed.”

Mr. Khan claimed: “There is an alarming rise in the Indian government targeting anyone who dares to criticise or protest the government’s repressive laws and policies in the last few years. It has started with the crackdown on Anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protestors and now new tactics are being deployed to quell the anti-farm legislation protests.

“When dissent is crushed with violence and power, the democratic space shrinks and the legitimate exercise of our fundamental rights like freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly are delegitimised and often criminalised. Human lives are reduced to numbers and mere monetary compensation is equated with justice,” said Mr Khan.

He also welcomed the move of Honourable CJI N.V. Ramana who took the suo moto cognizance of the incident. According to him, “The intervention by the SC in the matter will pave the way for justice delivery in a fast, efficient and fair manner. We are hopeful of some good directions from the court in the favour of the powerless.”

The APCR has made the following recommendations as demands from the Uttar Pradesh government:

  • A high-level judicial inquiry by a sitting High Court Judge under the supervision of the Supreme Court;
  • The accused named in the FIR should be arrested immediately for free and fair investigation;
  • Ajay Kumar Mishra should be immediately dismissed from his post of Union Minister of State for the impartial investigation in the matter without any influence of his position and power;
  • Monetary compensation and government jobs for families who lost their family members in this violence and also the proper treatment and care for the injured;
  • The Government should ensure that the right to protest and dissent should be protected and not denied; and
  • Repealing the oppressive farm laws and similar anti-people laws and policies.

The APCR has expressed its deep condolences and offered its complete solidarity and support to the bereaved families.

“We denounce and reject every form of violence in total and advocate and dream of a just, peaceful and violence-free society,” it said.

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