Centre must take action, says aggrieved brother of lynched BJP worker
Shubham Mishra, 26, was running high fever when he received a call from his close friend, asking him to join a BJP event in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 4. He was initially reluctant to join but was then cajoled by his friends and party workers to accompany them. “He wasn’t well; but he decided to attend the event because Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and Union Minister of State (Home) Ajay Mishra were slated to lay the foundation stone of several government schemes there,” said Shantanu Mishra, younger brother of Shubham.
Shubham was one of the three BJP workers lynched by farmers after a car belonging to Ajay Mishra mowed down four of them during an anti-farm law protest in Tikunia. “His face was unrecognisable ... What will we tell his one-year-old daughter? Nobody knows why my brother was killed. He was not even driving the car,” said Shantanu.
Victims of the violence included Hariom Mishra, 31, BJP worker and driver of a car in the convoy. Hariom was the sole earning member in his family and was also taking care of his ailing father.
Though the families of the slain BJP workers have received cheques of ~45 lakh as compensation from the government, what they want is justice. “The minister’s (Ajay Mishra’s) wife has promised us justice. She also visited our home after the incident,” said Chandarbhal, Hariom’s uncle.
When asked if Ashish Mishra, son of Ajay Mishra, was driving the SUV that rammed into farmers in Tikunia, Chandarbhal replied: “Had he (Ashish) been there, he too would have been killed.”
Shantanu, who was in Lucknow at the time of the incident, too said Shubham’s friends told him Ashish wasn’t at the spot.
Interestingly, the family members of the BJP workers killed in the violence contest the argument that the incident was a clash between supporters of the party and farmers. “We too are farmers, and we support these farm laws. The government must act against these so-called farmers who have been indulging in violence in the name of protest for so long. Remember the Red Fort incident?” said Shantanu, referring to the manner in which some agitators climbed the dome of the Red Fort and damaged it.
Chandarbhal, on the other hand, criticised the government for giving a free hand to agitating farmers and not taking strict action against them. “The government must take action against those involved in the lynching, otherwise more BJP workers will die at their hands. If the BJP and the government do not act against them, we will never vote for the party again.”