Upset with the Union minister, the farmers planned to protest against Maurya. The deputy chief minister was scheduled to visit Mishra’s parental village for an event.
The local intelligence unit of Uttar Pradesh Police had warned the Lakhimpur Kheri district administration and senior police officials about the farmers’ planned protest on Sunday during a visit of Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, sources said on Monday.
The police said the protesting farmers, who have been demonstrating against three Central agrarian laws for over a year, were irked about Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra’s week-old statement challenging them.
Upset with the Union minister, the farmers planned to protest against Maurya. The deputy chief minister was scheduled to visit Mishra’s parental village for an event. The village of Banveerpur is close to the Tikonia crossing where the protesting farmers had assembled, the police said.
The protesters were raising slogans and planned to raise a black flag when a convoy of three SUVs, including one owned by Mishra, hit a group of farm protesters leading to a clash. While the protesters identified four of the farmers who were killed, Mishra said his son Ashish, who is a businessman, was not at the spot as alleged. He claimed that the four others killed were “BJP workers and a car driver”, and alleged that the assailants were among the protesting farmers.
Asked about the intelligence inputs, Additional Director General (Lucknow zone) SN Sabat said there must have been some inputs based on which a police force was deployed at the demonstration spot.
Recently, irked by Mishra’s statement, a 25-year-old man allegedly made objectionable comments about him on WhatsApp. The police have filed an FIR against the youth who has been identified as local resident Harjeet Singh. The case was registered at the Nighasan police station.
The police have invoked IPC sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), and 500 (punishment for defamation), said Nighasan Station House Officer (SHO) Ram Lakhan.
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