"if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen
the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu.

Rally against Lakhimpur Kheri killings of farmers held in Canada Featured

 

South Asians came together in British Columbia on Friday, October 8, to protest against the recent brutal deaths of four peasants who were run over by vehicles belonging to the convoy of an Indian Union minister, Ajay Mishra.  

Organized by Radical Desi, an online magazine that covers alternate politics, the rally was held right outside the Indian Visa and Passport Application Center in Surrey.  

The participants demanded justice for the victims’ families, the arrests of those involved, and the suspension of Mishra.  

The Indian farmers have been holding peaceful protests against unjust farm laws that were passed by the right wing BJP government without much consultation and debate. They strongly believe that these laws threaten their livelihood, and have been camping outside New Delhi since November 2020.    

On October 3, the farmers had gathered to protest against Mishra, who was visiting Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh (UP). Video footage reveals that the vehicles in his convoy mowed down the farmers, killing four of them and leaving several others injured.  

Following this episode, another farmer in Punjab committed suicide, leaving behind a note saying that he was disturbed by the events of Lakhimpur Kheri.  

Eyewitnesses claim that Mishra’s son Ashish was in one of the vehicles involved.  

The ruling BJP in UP is trying to shield the accused, while Mishra continues to perform his duties as a minister in the central government.  

The participants at the Surrey rally demanded immediate action against the father and son and the repeal of the farm laws. They also asked for the two men to be charged for terrorism.  

A moment of silence was held at the start of the rally for the four farmers who died in Lakhimpur Kheri and the one who committed suicide in Punjab. Their names were read out on the occasion. Raman Kashyap, a freelance journalist who died during the violence that followed the killings of the four farmers, was also remembered. A thorough enquiry was demanded into the circumstances leading to his mysterious death. 

Those in attendance held out signs asking for justice to the victims of Lakhimpur Kheri and raised slogans against the BJP government.  

Among the speakers were renowned community activists, Rakesh Kumar, Imtiaz Popat, Kulwinder Singh, Kesar Singh Baghi, and media personalities Gurvinder Singh Dhaliwal, Navjot Dhillon and Radical Desi director Gurpreet Singh. A prominent story writer, Harpreet Sekha, was also present.  

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