'Why Are You Silent': Congress Parliamentarian Questions PM Modi Over 'Horror' in Uttar Pradesh

© Photo : Government of IndiaKapil Sibal
Kapil Sibal - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.10.2021
On 3 October, a road blockade by farmers in India's Uttar Pradesh state turned violent, claiming eight lives. The farmers - who are protesting against new farm laws passed by parliament last year - have alleged that an SUV owned by a federal minister, Ajay Kumar Mishra, and driven by his son, Ashish Mishra, rammed into the protesters.
A senior parliamentarian from India's main opposition party Congress on Friday asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi has kept silent about a nationwide furore which has erupted over the violence committed last Sunday in Uttar Pradesh state's Lakhimpur Kheri District that left eight people dead.
Kapil Sibal, a former federal minister for law and justice and a Congress politician, has urged Modi to express "just one word of sympathy" for the four farmers who were among those mown down by an SUV allegedly belonging to a minister in the prime minister's union cabinet. Four others died in the violence that followed the farmers' deaths.
Earlier this week, Sibal called upon the Supreme Court to act on its own initiative over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence. After it did so, he said the courts in India are "temples of justice that can restore the faith of the voiceless".
The violent incident took place when farmers demonstrating against a visit from Uttar Pradesh deputy state chief, Keshav Prasad Maurya, were rammed into by a convoy bearing workers from the BJP party.
The BJP workers who were part of the convoy have claimed that the vehicles picked up speed, accidentally hitting farmers, when they were attacked by a frenzied mob with stones and weapons.
But farmers have pressed charges of murder against the son of federal minister Ajay Kumar Mishra, Ashish Mishra, maintaining that he was driving the SUV which ran over the farmers without provocation from them.
Ajay Kumar Mishra has claimed ownership of the vehicles that were part of the convoy but has denied that his son was either present or driving the vehicle concerned.
The incident has sparked nationwide protests by political parties, farmers' organisations and a public outcry.
Villagers watch a burnt car which run over and killed farmers on Sunday, at Tikonia village in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Oct. 4, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.10.2021
Lakhimpur Kheri Violence: Governor of India's Uttar Pradesh State Orders Probe Days After 8 Deaths
Uttar Pradesh Police made the first arrests in the Lakhimpuri Kheri violence on Thursday, taking two people into custody and summoning for questioning Ashish Mishra, who is the main suspect.
The Congress Party's query about Modi's silence concerning the violence comes a day after he paid a visit to a region which is barely 150km from the site of the violence.
The prime minister has neither visited the site nor did he mention the incident in the 35-minute speech he delivered, which focused on the achievements of the BJP government in the state.
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