Advertisement
Monday, Dec 06, 2021
Outlook.com
Cover Story

This Election Season In UP, Lakhimpur Kheri Is The New Political Battlefield

The Opposition is hoping for a rich election harvest in Uttar Pradesh but Lucknow appears to be a long way from the killing fields.

This Election Season In UP, Lakhimpur Kheri Is The New Political Battlefield
Photographs by Tribhuvan Tiwari
This Election Season In UP, Lakhimpur Kheri Is The New Political Battlefield
outlookindia.com
2021-10-18T15:17:28+05:30

The forest closes in as the road becomes narrower. The vegetation along the Tikonia-Banbirpur road, leading up to the Nep­al border in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, becomes thicker as the shadows cast by the teak and saal trees fluctuate with streaks of sunlight. Closer to habitation in the Nighasan area, the forests give way to fields, mainly of sugarcane and paddy. They are cultivated predominantly by the Sikh farmers of the region that is part of the fertile Terai belt. It was into one such sugarcane field that Ashish Mishra, son of Union minister for state for home Ajay Kumar Mishra, escaped after his convoy comprising a jeep and two SUVs allegedly ran over farmers dispersing after their peaceful protest, crushing four of them to death on October 3. An on-duty local journalist was also mowed down. Three others, who were in the vehicles, were allegedly lynched by the protesters.

Ashish, popularly known as Monu bhaiya, was arrested on October 9 on charges of murder, rioting and conspiracy after he failed to est­ablish his alibi. He had claimed he was four kilometres away in Banbirpur—where the Mishras have their ancestral house—waiting for the annual ‘dangal’ (wrestling match) to begin. October 3 was an important day for him as deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya had agreed to be chief guest at the ‘dangal’ at Maharaja Ugrasen Inter College. Ashish’s father organises this event on Gandhi Jayanti every year, but it was postponed by a day this year to accommodate Maurya’s schedule. It was supposed to be a show of strength to showcase Ashish’s popularity in the area and pitch him as the BJP candidate from Nighasan seat in the forthcoming UP elections.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Liberation Of Bangladesh: India Observes 'Maitri Diwas' To Mark 50 Years Of Friendship

Liberation Of Bangladesh: India Observes 'Maitri Diwas' To Mark 50 Years Of Friendship

India and Bangladesh are jointly observing 'Maitri Diwas' to commemorate 50 years of the Bangladesh Liberation War 1971 and India's role in the neighbouring nation's freedom struggle.

PM Modi’s Meeting With Vladimir Putin Likely To Reaffirm Indo-Russia Links

PM Modi’s Meeting With Vladimir Putin Likely To Reaffirm Indo-Russia Links

Though Narendra Modi’s foreign policy is seen as tilting towards the US, he is aware of the importance of Russia and the need to maintain the privileged partnership with Moscow.

Jayant, Ashwin Spin India To Series Win Vs NZ in Mumbai Test

Jayant, Ashwin Spin India To Series Win Vs NZ in Mumbai Test

India beat New Zealand by 372 runs to win the second Test match at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday. India also pocket the series 1-0. The first Test match in Kanpur ended in a draw.

Hip-Hop’s Strongest Asset Is Its History Of Rebellion And Truth-Telling

Hip-Hop’s Strongest Asset Is Its History Of Rebellion And Truth-Telling

Not since Indipop has a musical movement in India built such a strong independent presence

Advertisement