Sandeep Singh: Lovepreet Singh Died In Lakhimpur Kheri Fighting For Justice
On Tuesday, in presence of thousands of farmers, Lovepreet’s body was taken for cremation in his family’s paddy field
October 5, 2021 | 3 min. read | Original Reporting
Satnam Singh, 45, cuts down a section of his paddy fields. Not for harvesting, but to clear space for the cremation of his 19-year-old son, Lovepreet Singh, who was senselessly run over and killed by a car during the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.
He was mowed down by a vehicle that was allegedly driven by Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni’s son Ashish Mishra Teni.
It had been two days since Lovepreet Singh’s body remained in a freezer, as the family and farm leaders awaited final autopsy reports and assurances that police would detain Ashish Mishra. After intense discussions, farm union leaders had decided to cremate Singh and two others, continuing to keep one body for an independent autopsy.
On Tuesday, in presence of thousands of farmers, Lovepreet’s body was taken for cremation in his family’s paddy field. His mother was inconsolable, and she had to be carried away by some family members.
Amid chants of “Jo Bole So Nihal,” he was cremated.
A young, well-liked, Sikh man, all here feel that Lovepreet Singh’s life was cut short by powerful people that have seldom faced any responsibility for their actions. He is survived by his father, mother, and two young sisters.
His family background is very humble. They are solely dependent on farming for income. They have yet to plaster their home, which they constructed a few years ago. Lovepreet Singh had completed his education and like other local youth, he was preparing for IELTS in the hopes of moving abroad.
Prabhpreet Singh, a friend of Lovepreet Singh, joined him at the Farmers’ Protest in Lakhimpur. They had gone to protest Minister Ajay Mishra, after his inflammatory speech calling for violence against farmers, like many others from their village in Uttar Pradesh. A part of UP known as Mini-Punjab.
“The protest was coming to an end and we began our walk back when suddenly some cars came and mowed down farmers. Lovepreet came under tires while I fell sideways. He was unconscious as many farmers were crushed.”
Another eyewitness account, from 30-year-old Jaimal Singh, suspects the attack was more coordinated than appears.
“We were peacefully showing black flags to the Minister. The administration informed us that route the BJP leaders were going to take had been changed. Then suddenly some cars came from behind us and our farmers could not move out of the way. I will call it a Goondaraj (criminal government), as we were peacefully protesting and they mowed down our peaceful protestors.”
Farm leaders have reached a compromise with UP’s BJP government, which will provide financial assistance of 45 lakh rupees each for each farmer killed in the attack, a government job to each deceased farmer’s family, 10 lakh rupees per injured farmer, and an investigation by a retired judge. However, farm leaders are still not ready to cremate one of the four remaining murdered farmers.
Gurvinder Singh of Makraunia village in Bahraich District was also killed and farmers have claimed that he was hit by a bullet fired by Ashish Mishra. While current postmortem reports show no bullet injury, farm unions are insisting on a second autopsy by an independent expert.
In a viral video, Amanpreet Kaur, Lovepreet Singh’s sister refused any help from the government and said that she wants justice instead, however unlikely it may be. A call many others have repeated here in UP and across India as the Farmers’ Protest continues with increased vigour.
Sandeep Singh hails from Machhiwara, Punjab. As an independent journalist, he has worked with many prominent Indian news organizations. Sandeep has been following the farmer’s protest in Punjab since its onset and traveled with them to Delhi. He spends most of his time at the Singhu border protest site. You can follow Sandeep on Twitter @Punyaab
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