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Goa Cong leader likens Lakhimpur violence to Jallianwala Bagh massacre

Panaji, Oct 11 (IANS) Goa Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat on Monday likened the violence at Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh last week to the massacre at Jallianwala Bagh in 1919.

Speaking at a 'maun vrat' protest in Panaji, part of a nationwide protest campaign organised by the Congress party, Kamat also said that such violence against peaceful protesters is possible only in a dictatorship and not in a democracy.

"It can only happen in a dictatorship. We have seen earlier, countries ruled by dictators have killed agitating people. When India was fighting for its freedom, then we have seen an incident like the Jallianwala Bagh and other incidents, where farmers performing a satyagraha were shot," Kamat told reporters on the sidelines of the protest at Azan maidan in Panaji, which was also attended by former Union Finance Minister and senior All India Congress Committee official in-charge of the Goa polls P. Chidambaram.

Hundreds of peaceful protesters at the Jallianwalla Bagh were shot to death by British troops in 1919.

"It is a shame for us that such an incident is occurring in a democracy. It has been four days, an FIR is lodged but the Union Minister's (Union MoS Home Ajay Mishra) son was not arrested. Only after pressure and strictures from the Supreme Court have they arrested him and he is now in judicial custody," Kamat said.

"It is the duty of the government to listen to the people. A good government should always listen to the people. The farmer, who is the backbone of the country's economy, it is they who are protesting for their rights," Kamat said.

"We are able to eat because farmers grow crops. Such farmers are met with injustice. Farmers are protesting on the roads. They have been protesting for nearly a year now," the former Chief Minister also said.