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Sunday, November 28, 2021

In Lakhimpur: ‘Had this been done earlier, my father would be around’

“We have lost our father. The fight is for ensuring justice for him, and we will continue this fight till the minister and his son [Ashish Mishra, main accused who has been arrested] are sentenced to jail,” said Jagdeep Singh, son of Nachhattar Singh (58), who was among the four farmers killed.

Written by Asad Rehman | Lucknow |
Updated: November 20, 2021 4:36:20 pm
Bahadurgarh: Farmers block railway tracks as part of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha's 'Rail Roko' protest demanding the dismissal and arrest of Union Minister Ajay Mishra in connection with the Oct. 3 violence in Lakhimpur Kheri, in Bahadurgarh, Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. (PTI Photo/Manvender Vashist)(PTI10_18_2021_000183B)

For family members of the four farmers who were killed when a convoy of three SUVs, including one owned by Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra, ran over a group of protesting farmers in Tikunia area of Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3, the battle is not over yet. Justice will be done only when Mishra is made to resign and arrested, they said on a day Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced repealing of the three contentious farm laws.

“We have lost our father. The fight is for ensuring justice for him, and we will continue this fight till the minister and his son [Ashish Mishra, main accused who has been arrested] are sentenced to jail,” said Jagdeep Singh, son of Nachhattar Singh (58), who was among the four farmers killed.

“When I heard about the PM’s announcement this morning, I did not know whether to cry, laugh or celebrate. This is what my father was fighting for, but he is not here with us,” said the 32-year-old farmer. “If these laws were repealed earlier, my father would have been here with us today.” Satnam Singh said he was unhappy with the manner in which the probe into the incident, in which he lost his 19-year-old son, Lovepreet Singh, was progressing.

“How can there be a fair investigation when the father of the main accused is a Union minister… The minister should face action like an accused in a murder case does. Only then, will we be satisfied,” the 55-year-old farmer said.

“The decision to repeal the laws comes when elections are approaching. It is clear. What was the PM doing for the past one year? Now that elections are coming, he says the laws will be repealed,” Satnam said.

Gurusevak Singh said he did not expect justice for the death of his 18-year-old brother Gurvinder Singh, who was from Bahraich district, until Mishra is sacked as minister.

“They have only announced that three laws will be taken back. But what about MSP? What about justice for my brother? What about the 700 farmers who died during the agitation. All of them deserve justice,” he said.

Paramjit Kaur, who lost her 35-year-old husband Diljit Singh, said, “Was the government waiting for Lakhimpur Kheri to happen before repealing the farm laws? Why didn’t they take it back earlier, my husband would had been alive. Around 700 farmers died.”

“I have a son to live for. But I know many mothers who lost their young sons. How will they spend the rest of their lives? This agitation has given us pain that cannot be healed by repealing laws now,” said the mother of a teenaged son.

Diljit’s brother Jagjit reiterated that Mishra must resign. “My brother won’t come back. The minister responsible for his death is still in office… Justice will only be done after the minister is sacked and arrested,” he said.

“Aur main ek nasihat bhi dena chahta hun sarkaar ko – is desh ke kisano se kabhi na uljhein (I would like to give a piece of advice to the government – never mess with the farmers of this country),” he said.

With Inputs from Kamaldeep Singh Brar in Amritsar

 

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