Lakhimpur violence: Families cremate bodies, seek probe, proper aid

Three of the farmers killed in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday were cremated on Tuesday, after the families initially refused to carry out funerals unless the administration met their demands for a quick investigation and adequate compensation.

Family members gathered in shock as senior police officers kept guard nearby. The cremations came as tensions persisted, especially after new videos showed some who were part of a protest gathering being mowed down by a car approaching from behind.

Four other men died of injuries after the protesters caught hold of them — who are believed to have been in the car that ran over the victims – and assaulted them.

The youngest of the farmers cremated on Tuesday was of 18-year-old Lovepreet Singh. Singh’s father Satnam Singh lit his pyre on a path on a paddy field that villagers cleared to cremate the body. Senior police officials were at the site.

A few kilometres away in Dhaurara area of Lakhimpur Kheri, more than 200 Sikh men assembled on a field where, Nachhatar Singh, 50, was cremated. One of his two sons, Mandeep Singh, a jawan in the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSSB) performed the last rites.

“We never imagined this kind of an end to my father’s life. He was killed for speaking for the cause of farmers and we will remember this,” said Mandeep.

On Monday, family members of the deceased refused to cremate the bodies and held a protest. They relented after the government announced 45 lakh compensation to the families, jobs, and the promise of a swift investigation into the violence.

Family members of Lovepreet Singh and Nachhatar Singh initially refused to perform the last rites, alleging that the administration may tamper with the post-mortem reports after cremation.

Senior police officials were rushed to the spot and the families agreed after assurances. Cheques of the compensation amount were handed over to the family members of Lovepreet and Nacchatar Singh by the evening and a team under the additional SP was formed to investigate the case.

In the adjoining Bahraich district, Daljeet Singh was cremated by his 14-year-old son. ASP (rural) Ashok Kumar and other local officers were present during the cremation. Singh’s wife and 20-year-old daughter also attended the funeral from a distance.

Family members of the fourth victim, 18-year-old Gurvinder Singh, of Mohraniya village in Bahraich, refused to cremate his body alleging he was shot dead and the autopsy hid that fact. Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait reached the spot to speak to the family members. The local administration agreed for a second post-mortem by experts.

ASP (rural), Bahraich, Ashok Kumar said a panel of doctors had been deputed for the second post-mortem examination of the body.

Apart from casualties of four farmers, the incident at Lakhimpur Kheri’s Tikonia on Sunday claimed the lives of four others: MoS for home, Ajay Kumar Mishra Teni’s driver Hari Om (35), BJP workers Shyam Sundar (40) and Shubham Mishra (30), and a local journalist Raman Kashyap (28).

All four were attacked by the mob after the farmers were run over and were rushed to Kheri district hospital where they succumbed to their injuries.

Nighasan scribe Raman Kashyap remained unidentified for several hours till his father Ram Dulare identified him. The post-mortem examination of all the four was carried out late on Sunday night and their bodies were handed to their family members.

Source: Hindustan Times


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