LAKHIMPUR KHERI, Uttar Pradesh — The grief-stricken father of Lovepreet Singh, the 19-year-old farmer killed in Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday, said that he had nothing left to say.
Lovepreet’s inconsolable mother, Satwinder Kaur, said, “He said that he would return from the protest and feed the animals. Only his dead body came back.”
Satwinder could say no more. Lovepreet’s sisters, 16-year-old sister Gagandeep Kaur and 11-year-old Amandeep Kaur, continued speaking.
“Our brother has just finished building a new house for us. Now, who will live in it?” said Gagandeep.
Lovepreet, who had studied till class 12, was Satnam and Satwinder Kaur’s only son and had just started taking on the family responsibilities. His parents were depending on him to get his younger sisters married in the future.
“Who will I fight with? Who will I tie a rakhi to?” said Amandeep.
Singh was buried earlier this afternoon near his village Chauktha.
Our brother has just finished building a new house for us. Now, who will live in it?
Lovepreet Singh was one of the four farmers run over by a convoy of SUVs, one belonging to Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni, during a protest in Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday.
Eight people — the four farmers, three BJP workers, and a journalist Raman Kashyap — were killed in Lakhimpur on Sunday.
The horrific violence targeting the protesting farmers has triggered a firestorm in Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state which goes to the polls in six months. Political leaders from different parties have been making a beeline for Lakhimpur Kheri in the past 48 hours. Congress Party leader Priyanka Gandhi who was detained in a guesthouse in Sitapur, and has now been arrested and a case of causing a disturbance in a public place has been registered against her. The guesthouse has been turned into a temporary jail as per media reports.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced a package of Rs 45 lakh as compensation for the deceased farmers and a government job. Those injured on Sunday will receive Rs 10 lakh.
Mobile internet service was restored on Tuesday evening.
A short video that shows protestors walking peacefully before an SUV mows them down has put an end to the different versions put forward by BJP leaders, accusing the farmers of violence and pinning the deaths on them.
Last month, Mishra had targeted the protesting farmers with threatening and mocking remarks. Farmers allege that it was his son — Ashish Mishra — who was driving the SUV that mowed down the farmers.
Mishra has told the media it was not his son, but his son’s driver who was at the wheels, and the car overturned after it was pelted with stones by the protesting farmers.
The video shows Mishra’s account to be untrue.
Ashish Mishra has been named in an FIR (First Information Report) for murder, criminal conspiracy, reckless driving, and other crimes under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
After the farmers were mowed down, protesters allegedly burnt the vehicles.
Raman Kashyap was a journalist who was killed on Sunday. The circumstances of his death are not clear, but some local reporters say that he was injured when the SUV hit the protesters. Other reporters said that he was beaten by the protesters.
His devastated wife, Lakshmi Kashyap, was barely able to speak.
Since he did not earn very much as a journalist in Lakhimpurkheri, Lakshmi said that her husband also worked as a teacher in a private school.
Raman Kashyap was a father to an infant boy and an 11-year-old girl who he named Tanu.
“He was dreaming big for our daughter,” said Lakshmi. “He wanted to make her IAS-PCS.”
He was dreaming big for our daughter. He wanted to make her IAS-PCS.
Editor‘s note: An earlier version of this report referred to the deceased as Raman Singh instead of Raman Kashyap. The error is regretted.