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UP on high alert for farmers’ ‘rail roko’ protest today

The farmers are demanding the dismissal and arrest of Union minister Ajay Mishra Teni for his alleged involvement in the October 3 incident in Lakhimpur Kheri.

SNS | Lucknow |

Uttar Pradesh has been put on high alert following Samyukta Kisan Morcha’s ‘rail roko’ call on Monday. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farmers’ unions, said it will hold a peaceful nationwide rail roko protest from 10 am to 4 pm.

The farmers are demanding the dismissal and arrest of Union minister Ajay Mishra Teni for his alleged involvement in the October 3 incident in which four farmers were mowed down by an SUV that belonged to the minister.

Union Minister of State Ajay Mishra’s son, Ashish, has been arrested in the case, but the farmers’ body says that as long as the minister is in the government justice cannot be secured in the matter.

According to the home department officials, 44 companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and four companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed at major railway stations.

Action will be taken against those participating in the rail roko protest, said Lucknow police, adding that the stringent National Security Act will be invoked against those trying to disrupt normalcy.

Senior police officials will be supervising arrangements in 14 sensitive districts. Additional forces have been deployed in Lakhimpur Kheri and along the Lucknow Delhi route.

All districts in western Uttar Pradesh will have an additional officer at the senior level to monitor the law-and-order situation. Vigil is being maintained on the residences and movement of senior farmer leaders.

Prohibitory orders are already in place in the state capital.

Eight people, including four farmers, were killed in Lakhimpur when a car belonging to the minister ran over them on October 3. Farmers have alleged that the minister’s son mowed down the protesting farmers.

“He (Ajay Mishra) promoted hatred, enmity, and communal disharmony between Hindus and Sikhs in his speeches. It is his vehicles that were used to mow down peaceful protesters. He harboured his son and accomplices even as the police was issuing summons to Ashish Mishra,” read a statement from the farmers’ body.

(With IANS inputs)