Lakhimur Kheri: Vehicle Attack Incidents Around The World

by GoNews Desk 2 years ago Views 4685

Lakhimpur Kheri Violence Vehicle Attacks Globally
The Lakhimpur Kheri violence which had its roots in the horrific running over of returning protestors by a speeding Thar adds India to a list of intentional assaults on civilians that has made news around the world. Notable among these is the incident in Nice, France in July 2016 in which 86 people lost their lives.

The truck that was used to perpetrate the attack in Nice, France 

It was perpetrated by one Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31, who was shot dead on the spot by police. The President of France and Mayor of the city spoke at a memorial service where the names of the victims were read aloud and represented as a work of art.

The contrast with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s total silence on the Lakhimpur Kheri incident is striking. He was present in Lucknow to inaugurate the ‘Azadi@75 Conference And Expo’, which is under 3 hours away from the site of the attack in which four farmers and four others, including a journalist, lost their lives in violence initiated by a vehicle attack.

Memorial To Victims Of Nice, France Truck Attack 

Vehicle Attacks Similar To Lakhimpur Kheri Were Considered Terrorism 

The US Department of Homeland Security has released a public document titled ‘Vehicle Ramming: Security Awareness for Soft Targets and Crowded Places’ in which it says that “The use of a vehicle as a weapon in a terrorist attack is not new”. In this document it provides a list of recent vehicular attacks that was widely reported in global media and condemned around the world.

  1. July 2016, Nice, France: 86 killed and 430 injured by 19 ton rental truck. Pedestrians were watching fireworks display
  2. November 2016, Ohio University, US: Personal vehicle rammed into pedestrians on sidewalk, injuring 11
  3. March 2017, Westminster Bridge, London: 4 killed, 40 injured by rental car. Driver later walked towards Parliament and stabbed a police officer
  4. April 2017, Stockholm, Sweden: 4 Dead, 15 injured by stolen 30-ton commercial truck, undetonated explosives found as well
  5. October 2017 Manhattan, New York City, 8 dead, 11 injured in ISIS inspired individual attack using commercial truck
It is significant to note that in all these incidents, police initiated a swift first response, and the respective laws took their course against the accused perpetrators. The attackers in Ohio, Nice, and Westminster were shot dead on the scene, whereas the perpetrators in Stockholm and Manhattan were sentenced to life terms.

This is again a sharp contrast with the administration’s response in Lakhimpur Kheri where the accused Ashish Mishra a.k.a. Monu is the son of Minister of State (Home Affairs) Ajay Mishra Teni. The ruling BJP in the state and NDA-led Centre has come under heavy Opposition pressure to act against the accused. Though an FIR with charges including IPC 302 (Murder) which can lead to life imprisonment or death penalty has been filed naming Ashish Mishra, no arrests have been made as yet.

“Domestic Terror” With A Vehicle: Charlottesville, United Sates, 2017:

One of the major vehicle attack with a political colour was that in Charlottesville, United States in 2017. It was classified as “domestic terrorism” by Charlottesville’s mayor, the public safety secretary, the attorney general, and the director of FBI.

Image of  Charlotseville Proteststors Being Rammed Into By Speeding Vehicle 

The removal of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia had become part of a wider cultural and political debate regarding modern racism and America’s past of slavery. A protest and counter-protest had converged on the site on August 12, 2017. It was peaceful yet extremely agitated, with some individuals dressed up in “battle gear”.

James Alex Fields, Jr., 20, drove from Ohio to perpetrate the vehicular attack in which 1 died and 35 were injured. In July 2019, he was given a life imprisonment and additional 419 years in prison. He plead guilty to 29 of 30 federal hate crime charges, sparing him the death penalty but ending up in another life sentence.

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