TMC MPs meet bereaved kin, slam PM for not visiting area

TMC MPs meet bereaved kin, slam PM for not visiting area

Kolkata: A delegation of TMC MPs on Tuesday met families of farmers killed in the Lakhimpur violence, claiming that they 'dodged' policemen by posing as tourists.

The TMC delegation comprised MPs Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Sushmita Dev, Abir Ranjan Biswas, Pratima Mondal and Dola Sen.

While on their way, the UP Police tried to stop them, the TMC leaders claimed in a statement. They posed as tourists on being stopped by police, claimed the MPs.

They slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not visiting Lakhimpur Kheri despite attending a function in Lucknow on Tuesday.

In an interview to a private channel, Union Minister of State Ajay Mishra, whose son Ashish has been named in the police complaint, said that the vehicle was seen running over farmers, allegedly triggering the clashes, was indeed his. However, the minister said neither he nor his son was present at the spot when the incident happened.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, on the other hand, alleged that the Uttar Pradesh police has not communicated the circumstances or the sections under which she has been charged, 38 hours after she was initially detained. She released a statement claiming that she has not been produced in front of a Magistrate and has also not been allowed to meet legal counsel.

The TMC MPs, on the other hand, said senior police and administrative officials had questioned them and stopped their vehicles.

They eventually also managed to meet those who were receiving treatment in the hospital apart from the families of the dead farmers.

"Such a barbaric act is inconceivable. The accused has not yet been booked and as a face-saving measure, the father of the accused said his son was not travelling in the convoy," Ghosh Dastidar said, adding: "Modi, who was in Lucknow, should have visited the site and spoken to the members of the bereaved families. But he did not. It shows the indifference of the BJP towards farmers."

She tweeted: "Beyond appalling how the @BJP4UP government is treating our farmers! Every day is turning out to be a new disaster while Mr. @narendramodi remains silent! Shameful state of affairs!"

She further wrote: "@AITCofficial MPs Susmita Deb and myself convey condolences from @MamataOfficial and @abhishekaitc to bereaved families of #Farmers killed by son of #BJP minister We stand by farmers We seek justice."

Mamata Banerjee had also condemned the violence at Lakhimpur Kheri. Earlier, she had described the rule in UP as "killing Raj and not Ram Raj." She had assured the farmers that she would always be by their side till the draconian laws were repealed.

Meanwhile, Congress' Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who was arrested while on her way to Lakhimpur Kheri, said she has not been produced before a judicial officer or received any order, or notice, or copy of a First Information Report (FIR). The police have told the media that the case against her and 10 others relates to preventive detention due to apprehension of breach of peace.

The state police, which had placed the area under a security blanket since, arrested her and Deepender Hooda after a huge, dramatic confrontation. Since then, she has been lodged at the PAC (Provincial Arms Constabulary) Guest House, from where her team released visuals of her sweeping the floor.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel was prevented from coming out of Lucknow airport on Tuesday when he arrived to meet Priyanka.

Baghel staged a sit-in at the airport after being stopped by the police from stepping out. "Why am I being stopped? I am not going to Lakhimpur where prohibitory orders are in place. I am only going to the Uttar Pradesh Congress office," he told the police.

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