Dalit sisters’ death in Lakhimpur Kheri: ‘A sewing machine and plans for a beauty parlour… my daughters had so many dreams’

“Phansi, vaisi hi phansi un sabka apne samnay dekhna chahat rahi (I want to see them hang the way 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 that the struggling family had made in a long time.

A school dropout, the elder of the two girls had been stitching clothes to bring home money – she was paid between Rs 50 and 150, depending on what she stitched. Her friends said she would go to a shop in a market some distance away to try and learn sewing techniques.

The mother said the younger girl dreamt of running a “beauty parlour” or joining a “naukri”.

The family lives in a semi-constructed house, their goats and a bicycle sharing the room they sleep in.

“They (the accused) took them away as I watched. I had an operation (surgery) last year and the girls were helping me take a bath. I saw my daughters being forcibly taken away. One of the young men was on a motorcycle and there were two others, forcing them to get onto the motorcycle. I ran behind them and tried to save my daughters, but those men kicked me and I fainted,” 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 sugarcane field around 5 pm. They were hanging from a tree, tied to their own dupattas. They had so many dreams,” she said.

On Thursday, the UP government said that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had directed that the family of the girls be provided financial assistance of Rs 25 lakh, a pucca house and lease of agricultural land.

The government also assured the family that the accused would be brought to justice soonest and the case would go to a fast-track court.