'BJP is Systematically Attacking Farmers' Rights': Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi on Lakhimpur Protest

© AFP 2022 / NARINDER NANUFarmers shout slogans as they burn an effigy of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during a protest on the outskirts of Amritsar on October 6, 2021, days after 9 people died in violent clashes during a farmers protest in Lakhimpur Kheri district in Utta Pradesh
Farmers shout slogans as they burn an effigy of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during a protest on the outskirts of Amritsar on October 6, 2021, days after 9 people died in violent clashes during a farmers protest in Lakhimpur Kheri district in Utta Pradesh - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.10.2021
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Since Monday, India's ruling BJP party government has been facing scathing attacks from opposition parties over Lakhimpur Kheri violence, where eight people, including four farmers, died after a federal cabinet minister's convoy rammed into a group of the protesting farmers in Uttar Pradesh state.
Rahul Gandhi, a key parliamentarian of India's main opposition party Congress, on Wednesday slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party-led federal government, accusing it of systematically attacking farmers' rights .
"The rights of the farmers are systematically robbed. And this is why they are protesting. It started with the land acquisition bill, then the farm laws were passed and now this," Rahul Gandhi, the former Congress party chief, said in New Delhi during a press meet.
The State is set to witness state legislative assembly elections in a few months.
Soon after Gandhi's press conference the Uttar Pradesh state government allowed Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra along with three others to visit Lakhimpur Kheri district, where at least eight people, including four farmers, had been mowed down by a car belonging to a BJP cabinet minister on 3 October.
As per the state government report, eight were killed in the violence. But, yesterday, a section of the Indian media had reported there have been nine death in the violence.
Farmers have alleged that the federal Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Kumar Mishra's son was also present in one of the cars. However, Mishra has rejected the charge.
"The state government has given permission to Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and three other people to visit Lakhimpur Kheri," the Home Department,” Uttar Pradesh's senior officer Prashant Kumar told reporters.
Earlier, a prominent Congress politician and the party's General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was taken into preventive custody in Uttar Pradesh while heading to the district.
The Uttar Pradesh state government denied Congress permission to pay a visit to the area, citing imposition of prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code.
The state officials have not yet disclosed if other parties have sought permission to visit Lakhimpur Kheri district.
The State is witnessing protests over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, and the state government has imposed several prohibitive orders around Uttar Pradesh.
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