2 days on, UP allows netas into Kheri; Rahul & Priyanka meet farmers’ kin | India News – Times of India


LAKHIMPUR KHERI/LUCKNOW: After two days of being denied entry, political representatives were finally allowed to visit Lakhimpur Kheri, where eight had died on Sunday in violence during a farmers’ black flag protest against Union minister of state for home Ajay Mishra Teni and deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya. Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, along with Congress representative Rahul Gandhi, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi and Rajya Sabha MP Deepender Hooda visited the families of farmers who were killed.
The Congress representatives arrived at Bhagwantnagar, where one of the farmers who died, Lovepreet Singh, 20, lived, around 9.30pm. It was the first stop on their route. “I only had one thing to ask for — I demanded justice for my son. She (Priyanka Gandhi) said she would fight for me,” Lovepreet’s father Satnam Singh told TOI after the Congress representatives left. They were headed for Nighasan to meet the family of local news channel journalist Raman Kashyap, who was also killed in Sunday’s violence.
Earlier in the day, roads to the Chaudhary Charan Singh International (Lucknow) Airport had been barricaded, with police and CISF deployed while hundreds of Congress workers gathered. Rahul had announced he would be in Lakhimpur Kheri. By the time his flight reached the Unnao airspace, Lucknow DM Abhishek Prakash and other police officials had reached the airport. “We received the Congress leaders and informed them that only five people could travel to Lakhimpur Kheri as prohibitory orders are in place,” the DM said. Rahul was travelling with Baghel, Channi, and party secretaries KC Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala.
When they were told they had to travel to Sitapur, where Priyanka had been detained over the past two days, in government vehicles, the Congress representatives protested. “Police stopped us at the airport even after the UP government’s permission to travel to Sitapur en route to Lakhimpur Kheri. They are forcing us to board government vehicles, but we won’t,” Rahul told reporters there. Congress workers joined the dharna.
Around 3.15pm, the district administration told them they could travel in their own vehicles. They met Priyanka at Sitapur around 5pm and, from there, left for Lakhimpur Kheri.
AAP MP Sanjay Singh also visited Lakhimpur Kheri on Wednesday. Around 8.30pm, he reached Nighasan and met journalist Kashyap’s brother Pawan. He made him speak to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. “I will fight for your justice,” the latter told Pawan.
Rajasthan Congress MLA and former deputy CM Sachin Pilot, however, could not make it to Lakhimpur Kheri after being stopped at Moradabad. He tweeted, “This evening @AcharyaPramodk ji & I were detained in Moradabad while en route to Lakhimpur Kheri. We didn’t break any provisions of the law. These undemocratic steps of UP Govt will not deter us. We’ll raise our voice for justice for the deceased farmers & their families.”

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