“Minister’s son ran over him at great speed”, says father of journalist killed in Lakhimpur Kheri

35-year-old Kashyap was among the eight people killed in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh during protests of farmers against BJP politicians’ visits that turned violent against farmers.

Local journalist Raman Kashyap who had been working with Sadhna, a local television channel, had left home at noon on Sunday to report the protests announced by the farmers against the visit of Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya at an event organised by Union minister Ajay Kumar Mishra in Banveerpur, his the ancestral village.

35-year-old Kashyap was among the eight people killed in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh during protests of farmers against BJP politicians’ visits that turned violent against farmers. Four farmers, a journalist, a driver, and two BJP men were killed.

Family members of Kashyap said that he was crushed under the car of Ashish Mishra, son of minister Ajay Mishra, though Mishra, in the statement on the number of BJP workers killed had included Kashyap in the list. 

Ram Dulare, Kashyap’s father told The Hindu that his son was killed after being run over and was not lynched by the farmers. Earlier, many politicians and media outlets claimed that the journalist was “killed by violent protesters.”

“When the three-four cars came…he may have been shooting some photos…the cars ran over people. My son died in that,” said Dulare.

Dulare said to the newspaper: “I would have figured out if the farmers had murdered him had I seen lathi marks on his body. The farmers did not run the car over anyone. Whoever drove it must be from BJP or someone close to the MP’s son.”

“He was not there to protest, or support anybody. He went there as a reporter to report the incidents. He was killed while doing his job and should be treated like that,” Dulare told The Wire.

According to the news website, the family has submitted complaints to the local police station at Nighasan and also at Tikunia, alleging that minister Mishra’s son, Ashish, was responsible for the Kashyap’s death. 

“Eyewitnesses said because of the coverage of the car, the journalist was fired at and footage of the incident contains the sound of the gunshots too,” read the complaint, a copy of which The Wire has obtained.

Kashyap’s autopsy report has not been released. The father of the deceased said he saw marks on his son’s body indicating that he was run over by the car. Kashyap also had an injury on his head, he said.

According to The Wire, Kashyap leaves behind his wife, Aradhana, his three-year-old son, Abhinav, and 11-year-old daughter, Vaishnavi.