The violence in Lakhimpur Kheri has triggered a major political storm with opposition parties accusing the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government of shielding the culprits. Several videos of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident have emerged on social media platforms since then. Of the eight people killed, four were farmers, who were 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 other four include two BJP workers, a driver of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Kumar Mishra, and Raman Kashyap, a journalist.
Farmers have alleged that Ajay Mishra's son Ashish was inside the vehicle, a charge categorically refuted by the BJP leader. Although Union Minister's son Ashish has been named in an FIR in connection with the incident, the opposition leaders and farmers are demanding his arrest and the sacking of the Minister from the Union Cabinet.
One more video has emerged on social media platforms, showing a Jeep running over a group of protesting farmers. The clip was shared by BJP leader Varun Gandhi and other opposition leaders. The video is a longer version of the same video that is going viral on social media.
"The video is crystal clear. Protestors cannot be silenced through murder. There has to be accountability for the innocent blood of farmers that has been spilled and justice must be delivered before a message of arrogance and cruelty enters the minds of every farmer," Varun tweeted.
The new video shows a black SUV - which belongs to the union minister according to his own admission - ploughing into an unarmed group of protesters at great speed. There are no signs of any attack on the Mahindra Thar vehicle. It shows no stones or sticks being thrown at the car or that the driver lost control.
In this video, the driver seems to be holding on to the steering wheel firmly and driving at great speed into a group of farmers marching in front of the SUV, with their backs to it.
It may be recalled that farmers had gathered to protest against the visit of Union Home Affairs Minister Ajay Mishra and the state's Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya at a wrestling match.
Farmer groups have been claiming that Mishra's son had been in a car when the vehicle ran over four protesters, killing them. He has denied this charge. The new video emerged on a day when the Supreme Court announced it was taking up the case as media reports and a letter from two lawyers to Chief Justice NV Ramana cast doubts on the Uttar Pradesh police investigation into the incident.