Expressing shock over the death of Raman Kashyap, a TV journalist reporting on Lakhimpur Kheri's farmers protest on 3rd October, the Editors Guild of India (EGI) has demanded a probe by the court-led special investigation team (SIT). Mumbai Press Club has strongly condemned the killing of journalist Raman Kashyap.
Raman Kashyap was killed along with nine others in the violence that erupted after some vehicles were driven through the protesting farmers, allegedly under the instructions of Ashish Mishra, son of union minister of state, Ajay Kumar Mishra.
In a statement, EGI says, "There are competing versions about Kashyap's death, including a version that claims he died of bullet wounds. What is clear is that Kashyap was reporting on the events of the day when the horrific incident of the convoy running through protesting farmers happened, killing some of them. An independent inquiry is therefore needed to establish the cause of Kashyap's death."
The body of Raman Kashyap, who had been missing after Sunday's violence, was found in the mortuary on Monday.
"In what is clearly a terror attack meant to spread fear amongst the farmers, the killing of Kashyap raises many questions. The Editors Guild demands that the death of Kashyap be separately probed by a Court led special investigation team to ascertain the circumstances of his death and also attempt to recover and use the footage of his camera to build the sequence of events leading to his death," the EGI says.
In a statement, Mumbai Press Club says, “"We demand that the state govt bring to book those responsible for killing Raman. We also demand suitable compensation for his family. The agreement of compensating the next of kin of those who died - Rs 45 lakh and government job - should also be given to Raman Kashyap's family."
Two days ago, Tikunia police in Lakhimpur Kheri lodged a first information report (FIR) against Union minister of state for home Ajay Misra's son Ashish Mishra and 15 others for murder and inciting violence in Lakhimpur Kheri.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha claimed that Ashish Misra's vehicle ran over farmers protesting against Uttar Pardesh (UP) deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya's visit to a village in Lakhimpur Kheri.
Nine people, including four farmers, have died in the violence in Tikunia village of UP's Lakhimpur Kheri district. After an agreement between the farmers and the administration, the three families agreed to the funeral after the post-mortem. In contrast, the family of one deceased farmer has refused to perform the last rites.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Mr Misra, the minister of state, met Union home minister Amit Shah in Delhi. The meeting lasted over half an hour, and it is understood that Mr Mishra might have made his position clear in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case.
Ashish Mishra has been named in the FIR lodged by the UP police in the violence at Tikunia on Sunday for allegedly mowing down farmers, who were going to protest against the state deputy chief minister's visit to the Union minister's ancestral village for a function. A total of nine persons, including local journalist Raman Kashyap and four farmers, were killed.
The FIR against Ashish Mishra charges him with murder and causing death by negligence, but the subsequent police inaction is fuelling the anger of the farmers as well as opposition leaders.
Editors Guild says it is concerned about the varying versions of the incident in different media sections. The media must report the facts and not interpretations, it added.