Death of Dalit sisters in Lakhimpur Kheri: “A sewing machine and plans for a beauty salon… my daughters had so many dreams”

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“Phansi, vaisi hi phansi un sabka apne samnay dekhna chahat rahi (I want to see them hanged like they hanged my daughters),” the woman said, referring to the six young men arrested in the case.

She pointed to a sewing machine, the only new purchase the struggling family had made in a long time.

A school dropout, the eldest of the two girls had sewn clothes to bring money home – she was paid between Rs 50 and 150, depending on what she sewed. Her friends said she would go to a store in a market some distance away to try to learn sewing skills.

The mother said that the girl dreamed of running a “beauty salon” or joining a “naukri”.

The family lives in a half-built house, their goats and a bicycle sharing the room in which they sleep.

“They (the defendants) took them away before my eyes. I had an operation (surgery) last year and the girls were helping me take a bath. I saw my daughters being taken away by force. One of the young men was on a motorbike and there were two others, forcing them onto the motorbike. I ran behind them and tried to save my daughters, but these men kicked me and I passed out,” the mother said.

“When I regained consciousness, my daughters were not there. I ran around the village, seeking help. We were able to find their bodies near a sugar cane field around 5 p.m. They were hanging from a tree, tied to their own dupattas. They had so many dreams,” she said.

On Thursday, the UP government said Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had ordered the girls’ family to be given financial aid of Rs 25 lakh, a pucca house and rental of farmland.

The government also assured the family that the accused would be brought to justice as soon as possible and the case would be taken to an expedited court.

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