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Sonbhadra killings: ‘Lost two family members in clash, will fight for the land till death’

Ten people were killed and 28 injured in clashes and shooting over a land dispute in Ghorawal area of Sonbhadra district on Wednesday. The Indian Express spoke to some of those who have been affected by the incident:

Written by Manish Sahu | Lucknow |
July 20, 2019 3:35:54 am
Sonbhadra killings, Sonbhadra UP, UP Sonbhadra killings, Yogi Adityanath, Sonbhadra UP murders, Indian Express The bodies reached Umbha village on Thursday. (Express photo: Vishal Srivastav)

Ten people were killed and 28 injured in clashes and shooting over a land dispute in Ghorawal area of Sonbhadra district on Wednesday. The Indian Express spoke to some of those who have been affected by the incident:

SITA DEVI (40)

Sita Devi’s husband Ram Sunder died of a bullet injury on Wednesday. He had gone along with others after hearing that the accused had come to take possession of the land.

Sita Devi said she had one bigha land and her eldest son Laloo Singh (24) used to help Ram Sunder in farming. Their one bigha falls in the disputed area.

Ram Sunder’s younger brothers Ram Dheen and Ram Nath were also injured in the firing. Ram Nath’s wife Sukwanti died of bullet injury. She is survived by two daughters aged four and one.

“I lost two family members in the clash. We will fight for the land till death,” said Sita Devi.

RAM DHEEN GOND (35)

He suffered two bullet injuries —on his hand and stomach. Ram Dheen, brother of deceased Ram Sunder, was sent to a Varanasi hospital for treatment. He returned to Sonbhadra’s district hospital on Friday after doctors in Varanasi stated his condition was stable.

Ram Dheen, who is illiterate, said he has one bigha land for farming. “We used to be scared whenever the pradhan and his associates came. We will not let anyone take our land we have farmed for decades.”

Ram Dheen has four sons and a daughter. His eldest son Rajjan helps him in farming.

RAMJI GOND (36)

Ramji suffered injuries on his face. He said that when the assailants opened fire, they ran for cover. “Some of the assailants carrying sticks hit people, who fell down while trying to escape. I also fell and they hit me with sticks.”

Ramji’s two sons aged 17 and 20 were at home when the clash took place. Ramji, who is admitted in hospital, said he has one bigha land which is part of the disputed land.

“We want the government to intervene and solve the dispute over the land, which is our only source of income,” said Ramji.

KAMLAVATI DEVI (45)

She had gone to the field with food for her son Santosh Gond, who was working there. Kamlavati Devi joined other residents, who had come to stop the pradhan and his associates from entering the disputed land. “After a talk, the assailants started firing on us and hit us with sticks. I suffered injuries on the hand and shoulder. We have just two bigha land for farming,” said Kamlavati Devi, who is admitted in the hospital. Her husband Ram Pati Singh was at home with fever. “Santosh is safe. He managed to escape. We will all meet and decide how to fight the case in court. Many families of our community lost their members in Wednesday’s clash,” said Kamlavati Devi, who has three daughters and two sons.

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