The Samyukt Kisan Morcha has suspended social activist Yogendra Yadav for a month for visiting the family of a BJP worker who was killed in the 3 October Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
Yadav has been a member of the outfit's core committee.
In today's SKM Meeting, it has been decided that Yogendra Yadav will be suspended from SKM for 1 month. SKM has taken this decision in view of insulting martyr farmers of Lakhimpur by YY's visit to home of a BJP worker who was killed in connection with Lakhimpur Kheri massacre.
— ਹੈਪੀ Harinder (@HarenderHappy) October 21, 2021
A senior farmer leader said the decision was taken at a general body meeting of the SKM, which has been spearheading the nationwide protest against the Centre's farm laws.
"In its meeting, the SKM suspended Yogendra Yadav for a month as he had visited the family of a BJP worker who had died in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri," he said.
"He (Yadav) cannot participate in the meetings and other activities of Samyukt Kisan Morcha," the farmer leader added.
Yadav had attended the SKM's general body meeting on Thursday.
NDTV citing sources close to Yadav reported that he was not sorry that he had visited the family, as he "felt he should".
"He said (at the meeting) that he was not sorry that he went to visit the family, but is ready to apologise for not discussing the issue with the farmers' body beforehand," the sources reportedly said.
It has been reported that members of the farmers' union want a public apology from Yogendra Yadav.
The incident leading to Yadav's suspension occurred when the activist decided that he had to visit the family of Shubham Mishra, the BJP worker who died in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence. Explaining his decision, in an article in The Print, he wrote, "Must we divide victims between ‘ours’ and ‘theirs’? How do we acknowledge multiple victims on different sides of the divide?"
शहीद किसान श्रद्धांजलि सभा से वापिसी में बीजेपी कार्यकर्ता शुभम मिश्रा के घर गए। परिवार ने हम पर गुस्सा नही किया। बस दुखी मन से सवाल पूछे: क्या हम किसान नहीं? हमारे बेटे का क्या कसूर था? आपके साथी ने एक्शन रिएक्शन वाली बात क्यों कही?
उनके सवाल कान में गूंज रहे हैं! pic.twitter.com/q0sYAT8gV6
— Yogendra Yadav (@_YogendraYadav) October 12, 2021
He wrote that as he visited the other victims' relatives in Tikunia, something kept telling him that his visit was incomplete and it was then he voiced his opinion to the his other colleagues that they should visit the families on the other side. "My colleagues were initially apprehensive: the reaction could be hostile, even violent. But eventually they backed me and we decided to just land at the house of Shubham Mishra, the first BJP worker to be killed that day, bang in the middle of Lakhimpur town."
Eight people were killed in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3. Four of the eight victims were farmers, who were allegedly knocked down by a vehicle carrying BJP workers. Angry farmers then allegedly lynched some people in the vehicles.
The other dead included two BJP workers and their driver.
With inputs from agencies