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Home / India / PM asks 9 lakh UP families to light diyas, who he made 'lakhpati'

In the name of Lord Ram

PM asks 9 lakh UP families to light diyas, who he made 'lakhpati'

Around the same time, 129km away, Pawan Kashyap was outside the Lakhimpur Kheri district collectorate; his journalist brother Raman, was on killed in Tikunia
Narendra Modi being welcomed by Yogi Adityanath at the event in Lucknow on Tuesday

Piyush Srivastava   |   Lucknow   |   Published 06.10.21, 02:13 AM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged nine lakh families in Uttar Pradesh, whom he said he had made “lakhpati”, to light two diyas each outside their homes on Diwali in the name of Lord Ram.

“It has been said that 7.5 lakh diyas will be lit in Ayodhya this Diwali, and the nine lakh poor who have got a house will light 18 lakh diyas in front of their houses. Lord Ram will be happy,” Modi said in Lucknow.

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Around the time he spoke, 129km away, Pawan Kashyap was standing outside the Lakhimpur Kheri district collectorate, waiting for a sub-divisional magistrate rank officer to hear him out.

Pawan’s elder brother Raman, 35, a television journalist, was on assignment in Tikunia on Sunday when an SUV owned by Union minister Ajay Misra Teni, and allegedly driven by his son, ploughed through a group of farmers walking back after a protest. Raman got hit and died in hospital, he said.

Speaking to The Telegraph over phone, Pawan said: “I have evidence to prove that Ashis Monu Misra, son of Ajay Misra Teni, crushed my brother under the wheels of his Thar jeep. I have video proof that Monu was loading his pistol and trying to run away from Tikunia on Sunday after crushing people on the road, including my brother, a journalist, and farmers, who had gathered there to show black flags to Keshav Prasad Maurya.”

Maurya, deputy chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, was a guest at a wrestling event in Teni’s village. The black flag protest was planned against Teni’s threat from a public platform days earlier that he would fix the protesting farmers in two minutes if they did not mend their ways.

“Why is the government not arresting the minister and his son? Why is the government not looking at the death of my brother? What about the Diwali of my widowed sister-in-law Aradhana Kashyap, her 11-year-old daughter and two-and-a-half-year old son?” asked Pawan.

Neither Modi nor anyone from his government, in which Teni is a minister of state for home, has condemned the horror even after a spine-chilling video emerged showing an SUV hitting the farmers from behind and racing off. The minister had earlier said the protesters had thrown stones at the vehicle, causing the driver to lose balance and lead to an accident in which the farmers died. Teni denies his son was at the wheel.

Surjeet Singh Channi, a digital media journalist who was also at the spot on Sunday, told this paper: “The farmers were waiting for the deputy CM at the helipad in Tikunia and later came to know that Maurya had gone by another road. So they were returning home. I thought I would get a bite from some farmers on the road and moved towards them when the minister’s cars came at full speed, crushing many and leaving many injured. I fell on the road and a black SUV ran over my right leg. Still I was not badly injured.”

Channi continued: “Two people of roughly 70 years and 60 years were lying there in a pool of blood. I asked the farmers to take them to Tikunia Primary Health Centre in my Swift car. The 70-year-old died in the car. A doctor administered an injection to the 60-year-old man and me and then asked us to go to Lakhimpur Kheri district hospital. From the district hospital, I went home and later came to know that the man whom I took there had also died.”

The journalist told this paper: “I am from Tikunia. I couldn’t see who was there in the cars but I could identify that all the cars belonged to the Union minister.”

Modi did not utter one word about the bloodbath in his 35-minute speech in Lucknow, in which he claimed credit for having turned 3 crore families into “lakhpatis”.  The reference was to the beneficiaries of a housing scheme for the poor.

“Some gentlemen used to say that they have made Modi the Prime Minister but what has he done in return,” the Prime Minister said. “I am going to tell you something after which my detractors, who waste their energy in criticising me…, would jump. I think I should say this. I got the opportunity to make lakhpati those three crore of my friends, my family members who were living in huts and did not have a pucca house,” Modi said.

He then went on to ask the beneficiaries to light the diyas on Diwali.

The irony of invoking the name of Ram, worshipped as an ideal ruler who symbolises justice, and Diwali, the festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil, seemed to have been lost on Modi.

Keval Singh, an uncle of 20-year-old Luv Preet Singh who was crushed to death on Sunday, said: “We want Modi to order the arrest of Monu and suspend Teni, the mastermind killer, who had said in a speech a few days ago that he would teach the farmers a lesson and make them flee Lakhimpur Kheri.”

Luv Preet, whose father Satnam Singh told NDTV his son had called him from hospital and asked him to come quickly but died before he could be taken to a bigger hospital, was cremated on Tuesday. His mother fainted several times on the short walk from their home to the field where he was laid to rest. Luv Preet’s two sisters wept by the glass casket that held their younger brother’s body. Satnam Singh, who had kept his composure as he recalled the phone call, broke down before the pyre and tried to embrace his son one last time.

When told that Modi was in Lucknow and he did not mention the killings,  Keval said: “Modi has made Teni a minister because they are he same. Modi is not different from Teni. Both threaten the farmers for protesting against the three farm laws. I don’t see any difference between Teni and Modi. But still we demand that they arrest Monu, suspend Teni and ensure that they are punished for the crime they have committed.”

Neither Modi nor anyone from his government, in which Teni is a minister of state for home, has condemned the horror even after a spine-chilling video emerged showing an SUV hitting the farmers from behind and racing off. The minister had earlier said the protesters had thrown stones at the vehicle, causing the driver to lose balance and lead to an accident in which the farmers died. Teni denies his son was at the wheel.

Surjeet Singh Channi, a digital media journalist who was also at the spot on Sunday, told this paper: “The farmers were waiting for the deputy CM at the helipad in Tikunia and later came to know that Maurya had gone by another road. So they were returning home. I thought I would get a bite from some farmers on the road and moved towards them when the minister’s cars came at full speed, crushing many and leaving many injured. I fell on the road and a black SUV ran over my right leg. Still I was not badly injured.”

Channi continued: “Two people of roughly 70 years and 60 years were lying there in a pool of blood. I asked the farmers to take them to Tikunia Primary Health Centre in my Swift car. The 70-year-old died in the car. A doctor administered an injection to the 60-year-old man and me and then asked us to go to Lakhimpur Kheri district hospital. From the district hospital, I went home and later came to know that the man whom I took there had also died.”

The journalist told this paper: “I am from Tikunia. I couldn’t see who was there in the cars but I could identify that all the cars belonged to the Union minister.”

Modi did not utter one word about the bloodbath in his 35-minute speech in Lucknow, in which he claimed credit for having turned 3 crore families into “lakhpatis”.  The reference was to the beneficiaries of a housing scheme for the poor.

“Some gentlemen used to say that they have made Modi the Prime Minister but what has he done in return,” the Prime Minister said. “I am going to tell you something after which my detractors, who waste their energy in criticising me…, would jump. I think I should say this. I got the opportunity to make lakhpati those three crore of my friends, my family members who were living in huts and did not have a pucca house,” Modi said.

He then went on to ask the beneficiaries to light the diyas on Diwali.

The irony of invoking the name of Ram, worshipped as an ideal ruler who symbolises justice, and Diwali, the festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil, seemed to have been lost on Modi.

Keval Singh, an uncle of 20-year-old Luv Preet Singh who was crushed to death on Sunday, said: “We want Modi to order the arrest of Monu and suspend Teni, the mastermind killer, who had said in a speech a few days ago that he would teach the farmers a lesson and make them flee Lakhimpur Kheri.”

Luv Preet, whose father Satnam Singh told NDTV his son had called him from hospital and asked him to come quickly but died before he could be taken to a bigger hospital, was cremated on Tuesday. His mother fainted several times on the short walk from their home to the field where he was laid to rest. Luv Preet’s two sisters wept by the glass casket that held their younger brother’s body. Satnam Singh, who had kept his composure as he recalled the phone call, broke down before the pyre and tried to embrace his son one last time.

When told that Modi was in Lucknow and he did not mention the killings,  Keval said: “Modi has made Teni a minister because they are he same. Modi is not different from Teni. Both threaten the farmers for protesting against the three farm laws. I don’t see any difference between Teni and Modi. But still we demand that they arrest Monu, suspend Teni and ensure that they are punished for the crime they have committed.”



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