The mortal remains of three of the farmers, who were mowed down by a vehicle during a protest in Lakhimpur Kheri, were cremated at their native places on Tuesday, while the family of the fourth one demanded a second post-mortem. Bahraich Additional Superintendent of Police (Rural) Ashok Kumar was quoted as saying by PTI, “A decision on the demand for a second post mortem could be taken only by senior officials.”
The families of Lavpreet Singh (19), Nachattar Singh (65) and Daljeet Singh (42) agreed to the cremation after hours of negotiations involving police officials and farmer leader Rakesh Tikait. But the family of Gurvinder Singh (22) of Matera tehsil refused to cremate him till a second autopsy is done and alleged that he was shot dead.
Meanwhile, with Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi being arrested and Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel being reportedly stopped at the Lucknow airport, Congress leaders slammed BJP over the crisis on Tuesday, with Rajasthan CM saying that ‘democracy is under threat’ and Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi stating that the Lakhimpur Kheri incident reminded him of the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy.
Addressing a dharna at the Rajasthan Congress Pradesh Committee (PCC) office here against the Lakhimpur violence, Gehlot further said, “The situation is dreadful. What happened in Lakhimpur Kheri is not a small thing; this has shaken the whole country,” Gehlot said. Meanwhile, Channi said he will meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the evening and will raise with him the Lakhimpur Kheri incident. Channi, who along with some ministers and Congress legislators held a silent protest at Gandhi Smarak Bhawan here, said the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri reminds him of the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh tragedy.
Earlier, the Sitapur police on Tuesday arrested Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi and at least 10 others, to “prevent the commission of cognizable offences”. Other than Priyanka Gandhi, those arrested include Congress leader Deepender Singh Hooda, UP Congress state president Ajay Kumar Lallu and party MLC Deepak Singh. The arrest has been made under section 151 (arrest to prevent the commission of cognizable offences) of the CrPC.