Among those killed yesterday in the killings at Lakhimpur Kheri was a local reporter – Raman Kashyap – who was cremated today at his native village Nighasan. He is survived by his wife, and two kids — a 7-8 years old daughter and 3-4 years old son. Gaon Connection spoke with Kashyap’s close friend to know the series of events that led to the journalist’s death.
A journalist Raman Kashyap was at the clash site when he got killed in the melee.
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
In the Lakhimpur Kheri violence yesterday, October 3, at least eight people were killed including four farmers and three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers. However, there was one more death that has largely gone unnoticed and unreported.
Raman Kashyap was cremated today at 5:30 pm at his native village Nighasan in Lakhimpur Kheri, about 130 kilometres from Uttar Pradesh’s capital Lucknow. He is survived by his wife, and two kids — a 7-8 years old daughter and 3-4 years old son.
A reporter with a local news channel, 35-year-old Kashyap was one of the victims of the violent clashes that took place when Uttar Pradesh’s Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Maurya was visiting the Union minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Kumar Mishra’s village in Tikunia, Lakhimpur Kheri, and local farmers and the supporters of the political leaders clashed leading to eight deaths.
Kashyap was at the clash site when he got killed in the melee.
“On one side there were farmers, on the other side were at least seven to eight reporters. My friend Raman was also there reporting,” Jaspreet Singh, a friend of Raman Kashyap, narrated the series of events to Gaon Connection. “When Thar [the vehicle allegedly carrying Union Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra’s son] came and hit Raman. He was also shot in the hand during firing. He was hit by the car and thrown twenty to twenty five feet away. He was hit on the head on the ground and died on the spot,” Jaspreet Singh added.
Gaon Connection could not independently verify the series of the events. Meanwhile, the Union minister Mishra has denied all allegations of his son’s car mowing down people.
“Raman param mitra the hamare. Ham bada bhai mantey the unko (He was my best friend. He was like an elder brother to me). His dead body was cremated today at around 5:30 today. This morning, a post mortem was conducted. We will get the report tomorrow [October 5],” Jaspreet Singh informed. He also works with a local newspaper and owns a readymade garments shop.
Following the deaths in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to give a government job and Rs 4.5 million to the families of every person who died.
Kashyap’s family has also been promised the ex gratia sum and government job for her wife, informed Jaspreet.
Today on October 4, the Lucknow Journalists’ Association wrote to the Additional Chief Secretary regarding the death of Raman Kashyap. A copy of the letter has also been sent to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
In the letter, President of the journalists’ association Alok Kumar Tripathi has requested the chief minister to offer financial help of Rs 1 crore [Rs 10 million] along with a government job to the deceased reporter’s family. The association has also demanded that a judicial probe into the incident and the accused should be booked for murder.
“We have demanded Rs 1 crore for the family. But the government has decided to give Rs 45 lakh. We are not happy with this. We cannot undo whatever happened. We met Navneet Sehgal [additional chief secretary, information department, Uttar Pradesh] today. He assured us that a government job will be given to his family,” Tripathi told Gaon Connection.
It is being reported that eight people, including four farmers, three BJP workers and one driver, have died in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence. However, it is still not clear who were the occupants of the vehicle that allegedly mowed down protesting farmers on October 3.
According to the Additional District Magistrate Sanjay Singh, the reporter’s death is being counted among eight deaths. “Chaar kisan the aur chaar gadiyon wale the. (Four farmers and four people died in the clash,” he told Gaon Connection.
So, who was in the car? “I do not know who was in the car. Data is for eight deaths only. I was not at the site. We would get to know in the investigation,” he added.
Meanwhile, as per Jaspreet Singh, 4-5 farmers have died in the violence, of these two were shot dead, two drivers and one reporter (Raman Kashyap) were killed. “Overall seven or eight people have died,” said Jaspreet.
Farmers have alleged that the driver of the car carrying the Union Minister Ajay Mishra’s son mowed down a group of farmers as he tried to swerve away from the crowd. However, the Union Minister has denied the presence of his son at the clash site.
“During Lakhimpur Kheri visit, our workers came to receive us amid farmers’ protest. Some miscreants from agitating farmers started stone pelting on car & injured our driver. Due to this, our car got imbalanced & 2 people died coming under it. After this, our 3 workers were killed & cars were set on fire,” he was quoted as saying.
“My son wasn’t present at the spot. There were miscreants who attacked workers with sticks & swords. If my son would’ve been there, he wouldn’t have come out alive. They’ve killed people & damaged & set cars on fire. We have video evidence,” he added.