Lucknow: Over a week after Lakhimpur Kheri violence, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is once again scheduled to visit the city on Tuesday to participate in the “antim ardas (final rites)” prayers of the protesting farmers who were mowed down in the Uttar Pradesh district earlier this month.
Heavy barricading and police checks were visible on the Lucknow-Sitapur-Lakhimpur highway.
“Rahul Gandhi Go Back, Priyanka Gandhi Go Back” banners were also sighted along the highway. While some of the banners mentioned who had put them up, others appeared to have vague details about this aspect. All banners took digs at the Congress, saying ‘people’ don’t want “fake sympathy”.
The banners proclaiming farmers don’t want “fake sympathy”
Preparations for the final prayers are underway at a field, away from the spot where the violence took place in Tikonia village of Lakhimpur Kehri in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.
Ashish Mishra – son of Union Minister of State for home, Ajay Mishra – now arrested, is accused of running his SUV over slogan-shouting farmers in the district on October 3. Eight people, including four farmers, were killed in the incident.
Farmers and leaders of various farm unions from various states and districts of the state will participate in the programme.
लखीमपुर खीरी के तिकुनिया में शहीद किसानों के अंतिम अरदास स्थल पर पहुंच चुका हूं । pic.twitter.com/9HXpqv3a3h
— Rakesh Tikait (@RakeshTikaitBKU) October 11, 2021
Farmer leader and national spokesperson of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) Rakesh Tikait arrived in Tikunia last night for the programme.
On whether politicians will be part of the prayers, BKU-Tikait district vice president Balkar Singh said, “No political leader will be allowed to share the stage where only Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) leaders will be present.”
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) is the umbrella body of farmer unions spearheading the ongoing protests against the centre’s farm laws.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra returns to the scene almost a week after her arrest while she was on her way to meet the families of the farmers killed in violence. Dramatic videos showed her confrontation with UP cops, who, she claims, held her without a warrant or legal order.