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Eight people including four farmers die in Uttar Pradesh violence during protest, retired judge to probe incident

India farmers killed after violence erupts during protest. Source: Twitter

At least eight people, including four farmers, were killed after violence erupted during a protest against the controversial farm laws in the Uttar Pradesh town of Lakhimpur Kheri on 3 October. This and more in our weekly news update from India.

According to local media reports, the clash erupted after a convoy of cars linked to a federal minister's son ran over a group of farmers protesting against farm laws.

The farm leaders said the son of India's Deputy Home Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra was in one of the cars involved in the accident. Mr Mishra, however, rejected the claim.

A criminal complaint was registered against 14 people, including the minister's son, in connection with the death of the four farmers on 4 October. 

Following the incident, the Uttar Pradesh government has announced that a retired High Court judge will probe the Lakhimpur Kheri violence. The government also announced compensation worth Rs 45 lakh to the families of farmers who died in the clash and Rs 10 lakh to those who sustained injuries.

Punjab CM condemns the incident

Meanwhile, on Monday, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to impress upon the Uttar Pradesh government to take firm steps in ensuring justice to the families of the victims of the Lakhimpur clash.

He also reiterated the need to urgently review and repeal the three farm laws, which have caused resentment amongst the farmers.

It has been a year since India's farmers launched massive protests against farm laws introduced by PM Modi's government in 2020. Back then, protesters blocked roads and highways leading to the capital New Delhi.

Since November, farmers have continued their protests, claiming that the laws favour corporate buyers and threaten their livelihoods. 

The government, however, insists that the farm laws are essential to bringing investment in a sector whose contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) has been gradually going down.

 

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