Priyanka Gandhi stopped on way to Lakhimpur for prayer meet
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was reportedly stopped while on her way to attend the "antim ardas" (final prayer) of the farmers who were killed in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri earlier this month. This comes a week after she was arrested on her way to meet the families of the deceased farmers. A prayer meet will be held in Tikunia village of Lakhimpur today.
Heavy barricading, police checks along the highway
Heavy barricading and police checks have been put up on the Lucknow-Sitapur-Lakhimpur highway, reports say. The Congress party claimed a convoy of its workers was stopped by the police at the Sitapur toll. Besides Gandhi, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Jayant Chaudhary will also attend the prayer meet. He was allowed to leave for Lakhimpur after his supporters staged a protest.
'Go Back': Posters put up against Congress leaders
Meanwhile, posters have been raised along the highway asking Congress leaders to go back. "Rahul Gandhi Go Back, Priyanka Gandhi Go Back," the posters read. "We do not want fake sympathy," the banners read, referring to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that took place when Congress's Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister of India. While some banners were signed, others had vague details about that.
Thousands expected to attend today's prayer meet
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmers' unions, has called a prayer meet for the deceased farmers in Lakhimpur. About two lakh farmers are reportedly expected to turn up for the event. Rakesh Tikait, one of the most prominent faces of the farmers' protest, had arrived in Tikunia last evening for the prayer meet.
8 people had died in Lakhimpur violence
On October 3, violence had broken out in Lakhimpur, killing eight people. The deceased included four farmers, members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and a local reporter. While the farmers were mowed down by a car, the others were allegedly lynched. A case of murder has been filed against Union Minister Ajay Mishra's son Ashish Mishra in connection with the violence.
Minister's son sent to police custody after arrest
Mishra was arrested on Saturday after being questioned for nearly 12 hours. The arrest came days after the murder case was filed against him, raising questions about the UP Police's handling of the matter. He has since been sent to police custody until October 15. Meanwhile, farmers' unions and Opposition leaders have been demanding the resignation of Ajay Mishra, the junior Home Minister.