Eight people, including four farmers and a journalist, were killed on October 3 during a farmers’ protest in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district. An SUV, allegedly belonging to Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra, ran over them.
The Union minister’s son Ashish Mishra is accused of driving the car. Multiple videos show the SUV ramming a group of farmers from behind. Special Investigation Team formed by Supreme Court to Investigate the matter.
Special Investigation Team (SIT) work so far:
“The SIT team probing the October 3 violence has got some photos and videos. We are releasing photographs and appeal to people to identify them,” an SIT official said. “Six photographs have been released for identification,” he said. The SIT has already issued notices to over three dozen farmers for questioning in a case related to the lynching of BJP workers.
Two FIRs were registered at the Tikonia police station after eight people, including four farmers, were killed in the violence. In the first FIR, MoS Ajay Mishra\’s son Ashish was named as accused besides 15 to 20 unidentified persons. Another FIR was lodged at the same police station on the basis of a complaint by Sumit Jaiswal, who has now been arrested.
In the complaint, Jaiswal, a resident of Ayodhyapuri here, identified himself as a BJP worker who was on his way to welcome Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya for a wrestling event at Banbirpur, when the violence broke out.
Supreme Court Hearing:
The Supreme Court heard the Lakhimpur Kheri farmers’ killing case today and, for the third time in recent weeks, expressed dismay at how it was being handled.
The hearing convened two weeks after the previous session, during which the Supreme Court questioned the UP government on why there were “only 23 eyewitnesses” to the violence on October 3 when thousands were supposedly present at the spot at the time.
The Supreme Court, in its October 26 order, directed the UP government to record statements of more witnesses and give them protection.
The Supreme Court said they were inclined to appoint a retired High Court judge to oversee the day-to-day investigation of the Lakhimpur Kheri case. The UP government has been asked to respond to this suggestion on Friday.
During today’s hearing, CJI Ramana unhappy with the pace of investigation. Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said, “berating the Uttar Pradesh government over poor progress in the Investigation” “There is nothing in the status report except saying some more witnesses examined. We gave 10 days. The lab reports also have not come. It’s not going the way we expected”