Bharatiya Janata MP from Pilibhit, Varun Gandhi, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider  “appropriately strict action” against the Union minister in light of the violence that broke out on October 3 in Lakhimpur Khiri, Uttar Pradesh.

Gandhi also urged the Prime Minister to consider compensation of 1 billion yen to the families of farmers who died during a year-long protest against the agricultural law and called for subsistence-level legal guarantees for farmers.

Although Gandhi did not name anyone, his letter referred to Home Affairs Minister Ajay Mishra Teni, whose son Ashish Teni has been named the main defendant in the case and is in detention.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Gandhi blamed “provocative” remarks by several high-level party colleagues for inciting violence in Lakhimpur Khiri, in which five farmers were killed.

“It is the result of such statements and the adversarial environment created around the movement that on October 3, five of our farmer brothers were crushed to death by vehicles in Lakhimpur Khiri. This heartbreaking incident is a blemish on our democracy. It is my request to you that appropriately strict action is taken against the union minister who has been connected to this incident so that there is a fair inquiry,” he wrote.

He went on to say, “…Democracy runs on constitutionality, discourse, and empathy. The farmers expect you to solve their problems in a sensitive and timely manner.”

BJP lawmakers have previously shared a video of the incident in Lakhimpur Khiri, where a car hit protesters calling for action.

BJP lawmakers, who have historically called for a soft government stance on election campaigns, are also seeking to remove all “politically motivated false FIRs”  filed against farmers who have been fighting agricultural laws for more than a year.   

“I believe if this decision has been taken earlier, all these innocent lives would not have been lost. It is my humble request to you that while expressing condolences to the families of the farmer brothers and sisters who were martyred in the movement, a compensation of ₹one crore each be announced for them,” he said in the letter.