Sumit Kumar, who had aspired to become a policeman, had come home only 20 days ago to assist his father with farm work but due to a tragic coincidence he got caught in the mob violence in Bulandshahr and died, says a cousin. The 20-year-old was a simpleton and determined to get into the police services for which he was training and had joined coaching classes away from home.
Sumit died of bullet injuries during the violence that broke out after cow carcasses were found strewn in a jungle near his Chingrawathi village in Bulandshahr's Siana tehsil on Monday in which a police inspector, Subodh Kumar Singh, was also killed.
"He would have become a police officer," his mother wailed as she held on to his body this afternoon before it was taken for the last rites. Sumit's cousin Anuj Kumar, 23, said that after clearing 12th he started B.Com but dropped out of it after one year.
He then started B.A (private) and had completed two years from a college in Lakhaoti in Bulandshahr. "He had filled forms for job in Delhi Police and Uttar Pradesh police. He was determined to get selected in the police department and would go out for jogging and physical exercise every morning. He had also joined gym for a while," Anuj told PTI.
He said two of his sisters, Meenu and Manju, live in Kasna in Greater Noida where they work at a call centre and Sumit would often stay with them. Sumit had done his Class 11 and 12 from Kasna and on and off he would come home in his village.
"Twenty days ago, they had sent him to assist his father with the farm work and to prepare for the exams at home," Anuj said.
He said Sumit's elder brother Vineet, 22, is preparing for defence services. On Monday, the day the violence happened, a friend of Sumit had come from Barauli, a village nearby, to extend an invitation for his wedding. The friend had asked Sumit to drop him at the bus stand on the main road near Chingrawathi village on his return. While they were at the bus stand, violence broke out near Chingrawathi police post, which is close to the bus stand, but Sumit was not aware of its intensity.
"It was on for two hours and he thought it must have got over. Small disputes and fights happen (often) and crowd gather outside the police post but something of this level was not imagined," Anuj said.
It must have been only minutes since Sumit reached the main road with his friend that his brother got a call informing him that Sumit has been injured.
"Vineet was towards the field and he rushed to the spot. My father, Dheeraj Singh, was leaving for Siana town, around five km, for some work but he also rushed to the spot. From there, they took him (Sumit) to a local hospital where doctors said he should be taken to Meerut, about 90 km, for treatment.
"His father and mother directly reached the local hospital, from where Vineet, his father and one sister, Bublee, took him to Meerut while I brought tai ji (Sumit's mother) back home here," he said.
Anuj, who works as an assistant at a private hospital in Siana, said their families are simple and have nothing to do with politics.
"Sumit was a nice person, he had no issues or enmity with anyone nor was he involved in any sorts of politics. No one from our family, neither my father nor uncle is into politics, they are both farmers," he said.
An FIR filed in the case has named Sumit as one of the 27 accused and his family has demanded that his name be dropped and a counter FIR be filed for his murder. This afternoon, when the body reached his home in Chingrawathi, the family initially said they would not conduct the last rites until the state government gives them an assurance of Rs 50 lakh in compensation, pension, and a police job to Vineet besides similar cremation honours as given to Inspector Subodh Kumar.
The family agreed to perform the last rites after local administration announced a compensation of Rs five lakh at its level and local MP Bhola Singh and MLA Devendra Singh Lodhi assured them of taking up their demands with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath day after tomorrow.
"I don't know how it all happened," he said of the tragedy that has struck the family, adding there are different versions he has heard from people about the incident.