Friday, Oct 07, 2022
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UP Election 2022

Lakhimpur Kheri: Grief And Anger In Ground Zero Of Farmers Protest

In the Terai’s biggest district, different farming communities may have different reasons for their anger at the ruling BJP, but these appear to be converging in time for the polls.

Lakhimpur Kheri
Lakhimpur Kheri Photographs: Suresh K. Pandey

A half-eaten packet of Kurkure snacks. That was the last thing 20-year-old Love­preet Singh, one of the four farmers who lost their lives in Lakhimpur Kheri on Oct­ober 3, gave his mother. That morning, his mother was busy threshing wheat and could not prepare his breakfast. “He left after eating just a half-­packet of crisps. He gave half to me because he didn’t eat anything without sharing with me,” Satvinder Kaur, Lovepreet’s mother, tells Outlook before breaking down. Her wrinkled lavender dupatta spotted with tear stains tells the tale of many days of pain. “He and I were very close. I miss him a lot. I want the killer to be hanged. I want him to die just like our son died,” Satvinder manages to say between gasps and tears.

Lovepreet was among eight people who lost their lives in the violence that erupted in Lakhimpur Kheri when a car carrying Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra allegedly mowed down protesting farmers. Four farmers, a journalist and three BJP workers were killed in the viole­nce. Follo­wing investigations, Ashish Mishra was arre­s­ted. He has rece­ntly been released on bail.

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