Raman Kashyap, 35, one of the eight dead in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, had joined the media three months ago. He was primarily a school teacher and after doing some news for a news channel in Madhya Pradesh, his hobby was working in the media. He felt that he could solve the problems of the villagers through his reporting and this encouraged him as a journalist.
His father Ram Dulare Kashyap says that his son’s mobile phone which was recovered from the crime scene shows that he was allegedly hit by another car in the convoy of the son of Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni. . Talking to Outlook, Kashyap revealed that his son’s mobile is an important proof of the whole incident.
Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and other Congress leaders came to your house last evening? What assurance did you get from him?
I told him about the whole incident and he said that he will fight for justice for my son. The two Chief Ministers accompanying him Bhupesh Baghel ji and Charanjit Singh Channi ji promised financial assistance of Rs 50 lakh each. They were very cooperative.
Have you received any compensation amount from the government?
Yes, on October 6, around 7 pm, I received a check of Rs 45 lakh from the state government. I will deposit it in the bank for disbursement of compensation amount. Apart from this, the television channel for which he was working has also promised Rs 5 lakh.
Now, do you have any specific demand from the state government?
I want the state government to arrest and punish all those who are responsible for this incident. They should be arrested and put behind bars. I also want the government to offer a job to my son’s wife.
When did your son enter the media profession?
He had come into news reporting only about three months back. His friends were working with television channels and they persuaded him to take up the job. He helped her to approach a news channel. I don’t think he was reporting for the money. He was a teacher at a nearby school, Modern Gurukul Academy, from where he earned around Rs 8,000 per month. Some people have wrongly reported that he was getting Rs 1,500 a month from a media job and Rs 500 for an assignment. He was not in the profession of Rs 500. We pay Rs 300 a day to unskilled workers in the village. So why would he do a job for such a small amount?
Why did he come to the media when he was already a school teacher?
As I said initially his friends encouraged him, but later he realized that it is the most powerful way to raise people’s problems. He used to go to the police stations, courts and hospitals to take up the problems of the villagers.
When did he leave for reporting on 3rd October?
He had left the house at around 11 am as two programs were being held at two different places. The wrestling competition was held in the minister’s native village Balbirpur and the farmers’ protest was going on in Tikoniya village. Both were at a distance of about 4 km from each other.
Where was he when a convoy of the minister’s son was allegedly driving vehicles on farmers?
He was present on the spot. In fact, he was hit by another car of the convoy, killing him. When I took his mobile and checked the recording, I came to know that he had been collecting video footage before the accident. The first vehicle hit the farmers and went ahead. Then a few minutes later another car came and my son was hit on his left side. It is clearly visible from the recording of his mobile. I have kept it safe and have not shared it with anyone.
You have seen all the recordings on his mobile, so did you come across the son of Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni in the video?
No, I can’t figure out from the footage whether he was there or not.
You have also alleged that your son was alive hours after being hit by the vehicle, but was not given any medical aid and was sent straight to the morgue as a dead body. What do you think about this?
When he did not return home in the evening, we got worried and started asking his friends and people around. Then, about 12 hours after the incident, at around 3:30, we got a call from the mortuary that a dead body was lying and we were asked to identify it. When I saw my son’s body, the blood coming out of the back of his head looked fresh. Also, there was no serious injury on his body. This made me think that he must have been lying on the spot and then sent straight to the morgue. There are three hospitals on the way from the mortuary to the site of the incident, but the administration did not make any effort to get him admitted to any hospital. I believe he was unconscious and not dead.
What do you do to make a living? I am a farmer and I have 5 acres of land on which we grow crops. After losing my eldest son, now I have two sons who are married and they work with me on the farm. Raman was the eldest who was working as a teacher and journalist. He leaves behind his wife and two children. Money can never make up for the irreparable loss I have caused.