It’s like a parasite that gnaws at his soul every waking moment. And when he is asleep, it’s a recurring nightmare—blood-curdling memories of a few chaotic moments that turned the world upside down for Rajdeep Singh, just 15 years of age. On that October morning, Rajdeep saw his father Daljeet Singh, 35, run over by an SUV in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh during a protest march against three central farm laws. In chilling details, Rajdeep recalls his failed attempts to pull his father out of the way of the vehicle, and two more after that. The farmer died in his son’s arms, one of eight people killed that day, October 3, 2021. Four of them were run over by a convoy of three SUVs; one of them was allegedly driven by Union minister Ajay Mishra Teni’s son Ashish Mishra, who has since been arrested.
Like Rajdeep, the bloody events of that day—four others, including a journalist, were allegedly killed in retaliation by protesting farmers—had left many others numb with shock and pain. Nearly a month since the incident, grief has turned to anger as families who lost loved members seek justice for the dead and punishment to the guilty. Some are questioning the fairness of the police probe, which had even come under the scanner of the Supreme Court. Ashish Mishra denies any role in the deaths, and claims he was somewhere else when the incident took place.