Vijay Mishra and Sushma Mishra, the parents of BJP worker Shubham Mishra | Photo: Praveen Jain/ThePrint
Vijay Mishra and Sushma Mishra, the parents of BJP worker Shubham Mishra | Photo: Praveen Jain/ThePrint
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Lakhimpur Kheri: Sitting on a wooden platform in her house, Sushma Mishra reads the newspaper hoping to find news of the violent clashes that shook Lakhimpur Kheri Sunday. 

The front page of the newspaper is full of stories from the protests. But Sushma is upset. “Do you see my son’s photo? They have not even published his photo. All the others who died are here. Why have they left him out? The media is biased,” she cried, holding the paper. 

Her son Shubham Mishra was among the two BJP workers, along with a driver, who were killed in the violence at Lakhimpur Kheri, after the convoy they were part of ploughed through protesting farmers and a local journalist.    

Ashish Mishra, the son of Union Minister of State (MoS) for home, Ajay Mishra, was allegedly part of the convoy, and has been named in the FIR on charges of murder and rioting.

Shubham’s father, Vijay Mishra, is now upset with the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh for ignoring them in this “moment of crisis”. 

“We have not got any written communication regarding the compensation, but the murderers and terrorists have already been handed over the cheque,” he alleged. “Those who were beaten to death have not got even a written communication whether they will be given anything or not. But I don’t want anything from anyone; rather, the government can take more from me, but get me back my son.”

The family wants the government to acknowledge Shubham’s death and declare him a “martyr”.

“My son went along with BJP workers. He has sacrificed his life for the BJP and the party has done this to him,” Vijay added. “Now is the time to see what BJP will do for us because we have given everything to the party. BJP should give him the title of a ‘martyr’. His death needs to be acknowledged. That’s all that we want.” 

Vijay further warned that if the government does not acknowledge his son’s death, he will campaign against it in the coming elections.   

“Time will tell if the BJP will do this or not (declare him a martyr). If they won’t do this, then I will come out openly in the upcoming elections and I will narrate my pain to everyone,” he said. 

When asked whether anyone from the party or government visited the family after the tragedy, Vijay said while the local representatives — Lakhimpur Kheri MP and Union MoS Ajay Mishra and Lakhimpur MLA Yogesh Verma — have paid the family a visit, nobody else from the party has done so. 

Mantriji (Ajay Mishra) visited us and the MLA has come thrice. But what is the party doing for us? By giving the compensation amount to the murderers first, they have let us down,” he said. “They have done great injustice to us. This will prove costly to the government in the future. What the government is doing is terrible.” 

Recounting the incident, Shubham’s mother, Sushma Mishra said they suspect he was sitting in the backseat of the Mahindra Thar which was leading the convoy. “His phone was switched off at around 2-2.30, when I started calling,” she said. “We got to know that rather than the programme, some other ‘dangal’ (fight) is happening there. We tried to contact hospitals and other places but got no information. Through a video we got to know that he is no more.”

Shubham has left behind a wife and a one-year-old daughter.

“He has been handed a very painful and brutal death. We have not even seen his face, nor did I show it to anyone in the family, because he was brutally killed,” his mother said. Those who are the murderers should be hanged to death. Who will look after his daughter?”

Shubham Mishra’s wife and one-year-old child | Photo: Praveen Jain

Families upset at media portrayal 

Shubham Mishra’s family is also upset over the portrayal of the protesters as “farmers” and the others being painted in a negative light. 

“We are also farmers. Are we not farmers? We don’t want money. Our son’s life can’t be measured with any amount of money. What the government is doing is very wrong,” Shubham’s father Vijay said. “So many people are coming to me and are saying we should do dharna pradarshan (demonstration) but I am saying I won’t do anything. I have lost my son.” 

“They were not ‘farmers’. The media is mistaken. Had they been farmers, they would not have killed people mercilessly,” he added. “Had they been farmers, they would have raised their issues that ‘we are not getting the right price’, ‘increase the rate’ etc. They hold protests and demonstrations in mandis and hold meetings in gurdwaras and then plan attacks.” 

“My son went there in the programme in the capacity of the booth president. Otherwise, what reason did he have to go there, to go 90 km?” Vijay said. 

The family of Hariom Mishra, the 31-year-old driver who was also killed in the violent clashes, is equally devastated. Hariom was the sole earning member of the family and was also taking care of his ailing father. 

When ThePrint visited the family Wednesday, it found 10 members living in a modest house, with his father lying on a cot, sharing a room with a cow.

Vijay Mishra and Sushma Mishra, the parents of BJP worker Shubham Mishra | Photo: Praveen Jain/ThePrint
Hariom’s father is bedridden | Photo: Praveen Jain/ThePrint

“For the past 3-4 days, we had not heard from him. We finally got news about his death from unconfirmed sources,” said Chandrabhal Mishra, uncle of Hariom Mishra. “We went to the mortuary and then identified his body. We got to know that he was attacked from behind and his back was completely fractured. Later, an FIR was filed.” 

“His father has not been well for quite some time and he was the only one who was running the house,” he added. “Some people had come and informed us about the compensation, but we haven’t got it so far. The minister’s wife had also come, as the minister had to rush to Delhi.”

Chandrabhal Mishra also said the people who attacked Hariom “were definitely not farmers as they had sticks and swords”.

Hariom’s brother, Shriram Mishra, said the family wants justice and the guilty to be punished, adding that his brother “was working with the minister for the past 4-5 years”. 

Vijay Mishra and Sushma Mishra, the parents of BJP worker Shubham Mishra | Photo: Praveen Jain/ThePrint
Hariom’s siblings and his mother | Photo: Praveen Jain/ThePrint

The deceased driver’s mother Nisha Mishra said the family does not have any money to run the house and also needs to repay a loan of Rs 5 lakh they had taken for her daughter’s wedding.

Hariom’s family too is upset with the media coverage of the entire incident. 

“No one is questioning why Hariom was beaten up. He was not driving the Thar. He was in the other car. He was beaten up mercilessly. Media is not showing the truth,” said Shiv Gobind Mishra, a relative. 

(Edited by Arun Prashanth)

Also read: Lakhimpur Kheri reporter was alive but police took him to morgue, not hospital, brother agonises


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