At least nine died, including protesting farmers, died when son of an Indian MP used a jeep to mow down dozens of attendees of a #FarmersProtest in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, on 3 Oct 2021. A sketch shared by Trolley Times, a publication of the protesting farmers
By Sikh Press Association | Britain |
The son of an Indian MP used a jeep to mow down dozens of attendees of a #FarmersProtest in Lakhimpur Kheri (Uttar Pradesh, India), killing nine and leaving more injured.
Ashish “Monu” Mishra was identified by dozens of attendees as the driver of the vehicle used for the attack, carried out to deter ongoing protests against three exploitative farming laws implemented by India’s nationalist BJP government. Four Sikh male protesters died directly from the attack, along with journalist Raman Kashyap, whose father says he was shot. Allegedly, three more BJP workers that were among the crowd also died during the attack, as well as a driver of one of the vehicles, although information on how they died is unclear.
In response, local authorities blocked internet in the area to suppress information being shared on the incident. However, videos of the attack have since gone viral. Some protesters responded to the open-faced terror attack by a BJP affiliate by burning cars. Gatherings in the area and the entry of Punjabis into the state have also been restricted, according to reports, with some community leaders even being detained by police.
Ashish Mishra is the son of BJP Home Affairs minister Ajay Mishra, whose presence in the area was being protested against by blocking of the MP’s travelling convoy. Last month Sikh farmers were threatened against protesting in the area, with nationalists stating they would treat Sikh attendees worse than the 1984 Sikh Genocide. The #FarmersProtest has been going on for 11 months, as hundreds of millions in India continue to demonstrate dissatisfaction against the new exploitative agricultural laws implemented by PM Narendra Modi without support from grassroots farming groups.
Eyewitnesses state Mishra escaped the area with support from police. According to a Baaz news report, “The authorities also ensured that the culprits will be arrested within eight days and that the inquiry of the entire incident will be carried out by a retired high court judge.” Despite this, many are skeptical of the intention of Indian authorities to carry out justice. Ajay Mishra has already claimed his son was not at the protest.
Indian nationalists and media have gone into overdrive flooding social media and publishing media reports which blur the issue. Attempts to suggest the protest was a Khalistan event have been mooted in an attempt to further align nationalist support with the killings of the protesters. A lack of support for free speech in India means any kind of perceived backing for Khalistan, or anything which is critical of India’s constant human rights abuses, justifies state facilitated violence in response, particularly towards minorities. Despite the clear video evidence of a vehicle being used to charge into the peacefully demonstrating protesters and a whole year of consistent examples of India’s human rights abuses, mainstream media orgs such as the Guardian have reported the incident as “clashes”.
On this type of coverage, Sikh Press Association Senior Press Officer Jasveer Singh said “The language and tone of reporting from Western media is still incredibly biased, even after nearly a year of regular state facilitated violence against protesters. There is video evidence of a government convoy mowing down protesters. Yet, reports from most mainstream Western media outlets portray the incident as some kind of violent clash between opposing sides. This is not only inaccurate journalism, it is covering up for the human rights abuses of the Indian state.”
Captured: The moment the jeep mows down protestors. At least nine died, including protesting farmers, died when son of an Indian MP used a jeep to mow down dozens of attendees of a #FarmersProtest in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, on 3 Oct 2021. A sketch shared by Trolley Times, a publication of the protesting farmers
Grief: Protesting farmers with the bodies of the farmers killed in a dastard attack at Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, on 3 Oct 2021. – Photo: Trolley Times
London sleep out to support India’s farmer protest (Asia Samachar, 12 May 2021)
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