New Delhi: Eight people, including four farmers, have died in the violence in Tikunia village of Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district. After an agreement between the farmers and the administration, the three families agreed for the cremation after the postmortem, while the family of one deceased farmer has refused to perform the last rites.
According to the farmer leaders, the last rites of three farmers was performed as wish of their families and with full customs. While one family, demanding the re-postmortem, has refused to perform the cremation.
Gurvinder Singh, son of Sukhwinder Singh, resident of Makronia village of Nanpara, died in the violence.
The farmers allege that the 19-year old Gurvinder was shot dead, which was not mentioned in the postmortem. For this reason, the family members have demanded a re-postmortem.
The Sankyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) issued a statement saying, “we upheld our earlier statement that one of the protesters was shot dead by the team of the minister’s son.”
“Sukhwinder was shot dead. However, this was not confirmed in the first postmortem. His postmortem will be performed again by a team of doctors from AIIMS, BHU, PGI and a senior forensic doctor in presence of SKM representatives in Bahraich,” Rajveer Singh Jadaun, state president of Bharatiya Kisan Union told IANS.
A case has been registered against the minister’s son.
35-year-old Daljit Singh, a resident of Banjaran Tanda of Nanpara Kotwali, has also died in the violence.
The family consists of an elder brother, two children (son and daughter). His brother is a ‘granthi’ in a local gurudwara.
Rajdeep, the 15-year-old son of the Daljit, was present at the time of the incident as he too had accompanied his father to join the agitation.
“We were protesting peacefully on the roadside, suddenly three vehicles came from behind and went trampling everyone, my father was also crushed by the car. This whole incident happened in front of me and was done intentionally,” Rajdeep recalls.
“He (Daljeet) was breathing after being hit by the car, but the ambulance could not arrive on time due to the crowd. Although it was too late by the time the ambulance arrived and he was taken away. He died on the way. It was done.”
According to the information, 20-30 farmers had arrived on their bikes from Nanpara to join the movement in Tikunia.
In the violence, apart from four farmers, four other people died, which includes two BJP workers and two drivers. Also, more than 12 people received injuries.
25-year-old BJP worker Shubham Mishra has also died in the violence; after the death, his family members are in a deplorable condition.
Shubham had gone to participate in the wrestling event organised by the Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni on 3 October. The deceased has left behind his parents, wife and their one year old daughter.
According to Vijay Mishra, father of Shubham, after getting information about the accident, he called his son several times but the phone was going off. Since then, he along with other family members, started searching for his son but no information could be attained.
Late in the evening the family members saw a video on social media in which some farmers were brutally beating a man lying on the ground. Based on the cloths of the person, the family members guessed that he could be Shubham.
The family is now hoping for justice and are demanding strict action against the culprits.
The area, where the violence took place, inhibitates large numbers of Sikhs. Even people also call it as Mini Punjab.
Sitapur, Bahraich, Bareilly, Pilibhit, Shahjahanpur, Lakhimpur Kheri, Rampur, Gonda of the Terai belt of the state and have a considerable number of Sikh voters. A large number of Gurudwaras can also be seen in these areas.
If terms of numbers, there are more than 20,000 Sikh voters in Lakhimpur Kheri, whereas in Pilibhit their population is about 30,000. Also, more than 35,000 Sikh people live in Puranpur area, 40 km ahead of Pilibhit.
Due to the presence of Bahraich on one side of the Ghanghara river and Lakhimpur on the other, the farmers easily participate in the agitations. Apart from the Bharatiya Kisam Union, these farmers are also associated with their local unions.
According to the information, a call was made by a local organisation to join the agitation. After which all the people had come to join the protest in Tikunia.
Richa Singh, a resident of Uttar Pradesh’s Sitapur, who is also an activist and convener of the National Alliance People for Movement, says, “There was this call from the local farmers, on which the SKM also made the call.”
“When our MP tells us that he will drive all of us out in two minutes, it is inevitable to feel bad. After this statement, the farmers were hurt too.”
She says, “If you see the margin with which he had won the election, you would find that this area, also termed as mini Punjab, had a big role. I believe whoever was present at that time felt cheated.”
“Farmers felt that the one whom they voted is talking of driving them out. They joined the protest with farmer leader Tejinder Singh Virk.”
SKM leader Tejinder Virk, who was critically injured in Lakhimpur Kheri, was operated after being shifted to Medanta Hospital in Gurugram. The doctors have now declared him out of danger.
“I am feeling a little better than before but the doctors have told him to do not talk much as of now,” Tejinder Singh Virk told IANS.
The SKM has once again made it clear that the agreement with the administration on Monday was only to pave the way for the last rites. The key demands of the SKM remain intact. It has demanded the immediate arrest of Ashish Mishra — son of the Union minister, and his associates.
It also demanded immediate dismissal of Ajay Mishra Teni and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar from their posts, saying that the lack of morality of the present government has been “fully exposed”.
According to the SKM, with these key demands, the SKM will soon announce the further course of action and the agitation will not be called off before the demands are met.