Rahul Gandhi-led Congress team meets President over Lakhimpur violence
A delegation of Congress leaders led by Rahul Gandhi today met President Ram Nath Kovind over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence that claimed the lives of eight people, including four protesting farmers. The leaders submitted a memorandum on the facts of the incident to the President. Violence had broken out in Tikunia village of the Uttar Pradesh district on October 3.
Priyanka Gandhi, Kharge, Azad also participated
The Congress party had sought an appointment with President Kovind on Sunday, October 10 and the request was approved yesterday. Besides Gandhi, six other Congress members took part in the meet. These included party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, AK Antony, KC Venugopal, Ghulam Nabi Azad, and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
'Told the President that Union Minister must be removed'
"We told the President the accused's father, who is MoS Home, should be removed from the post as a fair probe is not possible in his presence. Likewise, we also demanded an inquiry by two sitting judges of Supreme Court," Gandhi said today.
Eight people had died in the October 3 violence
On October 3, four protesting farmers were mowed down by a car that belonged to Union Minister Ajay Mishra. In the ensuing violence, three members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a local reporter were thrashed to death. Protesters have alleged that Mishra's son Ashish Mishra was involved in the killing of farmers. The Mishras have denied the allegation.
Minister's son sent to police custody after arrest
Mishra was arrested on Saturday after being questioned for nearly 12 hours. The arrest came five days after a 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. Three others, including two close aides of Mishra, have also been held.
Congress attacks BJP, demands Union Minister's sacking
The Congress and other Opposition parties have been attacking the BJP-led UP and central governments. Leaders have questioned the delay in Mishra's arrest and slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his colleagues' silence on the issue. Congress members have also been holding protests to demand the immediate removal of Ajay Mishra, the Minister of State for Home Affairs.
Finance Minister Sitharaman calls incident 'absolutely condemnable'
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has called the Lakhimpur incident "absolutely condemnable," becoming one of the few BJP leaders to speak up on the issue. She was asked about the incident during a conversation at Harvard Kennedy School in the United States on Tuesday. Earlier, BJP's Varun Gandhi had criticized the violence following which he was removed from a top body of the party.