Updated: October 6, 2021 8:33:44 am
Samyukta Kisan Morcha leader Tajinder Singh Virk, 47, who was injured in Lakhimpur Kheri where four farmers among eight people were killed on Sunday, was admitted to the neurosurgery ward of Medanta hospital in Gurgaon around 4 am on Monday. His family said he had suffered a skull fracture and underwent surgery; his condition is now stable.
At the hospital on Tuesday afternoon, his brother Rajbir Singh told The Indian Express: “He had an operation for a head injury. He has several injuries on his face. I met him this morning. He was talking in a low voice and making small movements. He has been shifted from the ICU to a ward. Doctors said he will be kept under observation for a few days.”
Rajbir, who was in his hometown in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand, till Sunday, said his brother told him that Union MoS for Home Ajay Mishra’s son, Ashish, was driving the car that ran over the protesters.
Detailing the sequence of events shared by his brother, Rajbir said that on the morning of October 3, Virk, who is the president of the Terai Kisan Sangathan, along with farmers from Pallia, Puranpur, Lakhimpur Kheri, Rudrapur and nearby districts, left from Ghazipur border and reached Tikunia in Lakhimpur Kheri around 11 am.
“Farmers were angry at some provocative statements made by MoS Ajay Mishra at an earlier event, where he had threatened the farmers. Virk had organised a peaceful protest against Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s visit to Baneerpur, which was taking place in Mishra’s constituency. At 11 am, protesters carrying black flags had gathered at Guru Nanak Academy in Tikunia for a peaceful protest,” Rajbir said.
He said that as per his brother’s account of events, the group of protesters occupied a nearby helipad, where Maurya’s helicopter was supposed to land, and sat there to protest.
“Around 2 pm, information was received that the Deputy CM had arrived in a car and that his route had been diverted. So at 2.30 pm, the protesters dispersed. Some started walking to their vehicles and made preparations to return to their villages. Some were walking on foot and giving bytes to local mediapersons when suddenly three vehicles — a Fortuner and two Thars — mowed down the protesters from behind,” said Rajbir.
“Ashish Mishra managed to escape in the Thar. Several gunshots were fired by their goons in the cars that followed behind him. Two cars overturned after losing balance and were set on fire by protesters in retaliation,” said Rajbir, sharing the version of events shared by his brother and some eyewitnesses from their union.
On Monday, a 29-second video clip emerged showing a group of protesters walking on the road and a grey SUV running them over. One man was thrown over the bonnet before the vehicle sped away, leaving several bodies on the side of the road.
“In the video, Tajinder, wearing a red turban, can be seen walking with a black flag as the Thar mows down protesters. The car was driving at very high speed. Tajinder was bleeding profusely and suffered injuries on his head and spine and fell unconscious. He was rushed to Tikunia government hospital, where doctors referred him to Lakhimpur district hospital. After an hour or so, he was referred to Rudrapur Medicity hospital, where MRI, CT scans were conducted. Doctors said his injuries were serious and referred him to Medanta hospital in Gurgaon. At 4 am on Monday, he was admitted,” said Hardeep Singh, a member of Terai Kisan Sangathan, who had come to visit Virk.
According to Hardeep Singh, Virk, who hails from Lok Vihar colony in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand, formed the Terai Kisan Sangathan over 20 years ago to fight for the rights of farmers.
“We are all from farmers’ families. Tajinder has been involved with agitations at tehsil, district and national level for a long time. He has constantly raised issues related to procurement, fair price, crop insurance, MSP and compensation for farmers. He has been protesting at Ghazipur border, as a coordinator under the umbrella body, Samyukta Kisan Morcha, since November 26, when the agitation started. On that day, he had led a convoy of 400 vehicles from Rudrapur and reached Ghazipur after successfully breaching barricades put by the state at Bilaspur and Moradabad,” said Hardeep Singh.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.