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Thursday, October 28, 2021
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From hospital bed, farm leader says: I was targeted, I heard shots

Virk said that Union MoS Ajay Mishra’s son, Ashish Mishra, was driving one of those vehicles — and that he was targeted for leading the protest that day against the Minister’s remarks about farmers the previous week.

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Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) leader Tajinder Singh Virk, who was seriously injured in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, said Wednesday that he “heard gunshots” before losing consciousness, after being hit by one of the three vehicles that ploughed into a group of protesters Sunday, killing four farmers.

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Virk said that Union MoS Ajay Mishra’s son, Ashish Mishra, was driving one of those vehicles — and that he was targeted for leading the protest that day against the Minister’s remarks about farmers the previous week.

Virk, who heads Terai Kisan Sangathan, was admitted in Medanta hospital in Gurgaon at 4 am Monday and underwent surgery for a skull fracture. The condition of the 47-year-old, who also suffered injuries on the face and spine, is now stable.

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UP Police have registered two FIRs in the case: one on murder charges against Ashish Mishra and another against unidentified miscreants for the violence following the incident that led to four more deaths.

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“I was walking with some protesters and talking to a person, who was recording my remarks on camera, when suddenly a Thar hit me at high speed from behind and dragged me for over 15 feet. Ajay Mishra’s son, Ashish, was driving the Thar. I was thrown off to the side of the road in muddy water. My turban came off and I was bleeding heavily from the head,” he said.

“I was targeted since I had given the call for the protest in (Ajay Mishra’s) constituency. He had threatened the farmers with dire consequences and stated that if he displayed his true power, farmers would be forced to leave the state. There was outrage among farmers due to this remark. In this context, a peaceful protest to show black flags had been organised against Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya’s visit to Banveerpur (Mishra’s village),” Virk said.

Virk demanded that Union MoS Mishra be sacked and his son arrested at the earliest. “There should be a judicial probe for a fair investigation. I do not have faith in this government. It has been three days and no arrests have been made. If there is no action, it implies that the government is shielding the accused. They are stopping Opposition leaders from visiting the area. I have been told there is a complaint against me,” he said.

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