Heading to hospital, out for work, shopping for clothes — many who were killed in last year’s riots were going about their lives when they were caught in the violence. A year later, their families can’t help but wonder if things could have been different. The third of a series that tracks families of the 53 victims.
The BJP attempt to retain its Jat base comes ahead of the zila panchayat elections. “BJP-backed candidates had won 25 of the 26 zila panchayats in west UP last time and the Jat community has a sizeable presence in at least 18,” pointed out a senior BJP functionary.
At present, police are investigating FIRs and counter-FIRs, naming the family members and associates of both deceased. They, however, maintain that action will be taken only on the basis of facts and not by pressure by two opposing sides.
"There is a narrative that the protest is going dull and that the sites are being cleared. We would like to clarify that meetings are being held in dozens of villages across Punjab and Haryana... There is an entire wave and it will not die down," said Major Singh Punewal from Kul Hind Kisan Sabha.
In a protest that began largely with a push by farmers from Punjab, many acknowledge that Tikait has helped mobilise support from Western Uttar Pradesh, which proved crucial in ensuring the stir did not die down after the violence on Republic Day.
"This is a very important movement and we all need to be together. What is happening here is god’s work and we will do everything in our capacity to take it further,” said Acharya Pramod Krishnam of Sambhal’s Kalki Foundation and Peethadhishwar of Kalki Dham.
A group of 200 men had got past three layers of security barricades on Friday, claimed that the farmers’ agitation had affected their livelihood, and damaged tents and shelters while clashing with farm protesters.
Under the shadow of heavy police deployment, the Ghazipur protest site grew overnight — hours after the Uttar Pradesh administration issued an official order to vacate the protest site, deploying more than a thousand policemen nearby.
In a statement issued late Tuesday evening, Joginder Singh Ugrahan, president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU, Ugrahan faction), said the message of today's march "would have been stronger if it had been kept free of communal issues".
Kulwant Singh Sandhu, general secretary of Jamhoori Kisan Sabha who participated in the talks Wednesday, said: “For a change, today's meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere... we hardly had a confrontation with the Union Ministers".
More than 20,000 doctors and healthcare workers reportedly received the first dose of vaccine on Saturday. The Sunday Express spoke to some of them. They shared stories of their battle against Covid-19 in the last 11 months.
On Monday morning, several protesters, including children, gathered around for a glimpse of the new attraction. Each truck has 10 figures, depicting a particular scene. A small board is attached to the side of the vehicle explaining each.