Channi to meet Amit Shah, says Lakhimpur Kheri incident reminds him of Jallianwala Bagh tragedy

Mr. Channi alleged that the “killing” of the farmers was “intentional”

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Tuesday said he will meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the evening and will raise with him the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.

Mr. Channi, who along with some ministers and Congress legislators held a silent protest at Gandhi Smarak Bhawan here, said the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri reminds him of the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh tragedy.

Eight people died and several others were injured on Sunday in the bloodiest clash since the farmers’ protest over the Centre’s agri laws began last year.

Four of the dead were farmers, allegedly knocked down by vehicles driven by BJP workers travelling to welcome Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya to an event in the area.

The others were BJP workers and their driver who were allegedly pulled out of the vehicles and lynched. Two cars were set on fire.

Mr. Channi alleged that the “killing” of the farmers was “intentional”.

He said he will be meeting the Union home minister at 6.30 pm and will raise the issue of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident with him.

Slamming the BJP government at the Centre, he said it should not force the country’s youth to look at martyrs like Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev and Shahid Udham Singh for again “restoring” democracy in the country.

Mr. Channi said the Lakhimpur Kheri incident was “painful” and demanded that the three controversial farm laws should be repealed immediately.

“The way an SUV mows down peaceful farmers from behind and kills them and all this which happened was intentional,” Mr. Channi alleged, apparently referring to a video clip purportedly showing an SUV mowing down farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri.

He alleged that a BJP leader had earlier told farmers that they would not be spared. “And then they (farmers) were killed intentionally. It was brutal.” He said the incident reminded of the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy wherein General Dyer had ordered his troops to fire at peaceful civilians.

“Today, the same has been done with the farmers,” he added.

“It is necessary to recognise the voice of people. The governments in democracy should work according to the will of the people,” Mr. Channi said.

“Today farmers are upset and they are dying. Considering this, these (farm) laws should be repealed immediately,” he said.

He said incidents like in Lakhimpur Kheri should be stopped.

“(Narendra) Modi ji should stop his BJP people and the RSS. It will not work in the country,” he said.

On the issue of detention of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Channi said, “This is too much. It is unacceptable.” “Today, the blood of all the countrymen is boiling,” he said.

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