Lakhimpur Kheri violence: Supreme Court appoints ex-HC judge to monitor probe, reconstitutes UP SIT

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Updated: November 17, 2021 1:09 PM

The top court also reconstituted the Special Investigation Team, including three IPS officers of UP cadre, who are not natives of state.

The top court also reconstituted the Special Investigation Team, including three IPS officers of UP cadre, who are not natives of state.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday a former high court judge to monitor the investigation into the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case. The top court also reconstituted the Special Investigation Team, including three IPS officers of UP cadre, who are not natives of state.

The court said it will next hear the matter after the SIT files a chargesheet in the case and a report is received from Rakesh Kumar Jain, former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, who will now be monitoring the day-to-day probe.

Reconstituting the SIT, the court included three IPS officers – SB Shirodkar, Deepinder Singh and Padmaja Chauhan – in it.

The apex court was hearing a matter about the October 3 violence in Lakhimpur Kheri in which eight persons including four farmers were killed during a farmers’ protest.

Four farmers were mowed down by an SUV in the convoy at Lakhimpur Kheri when a group agitating against the Centre’s three new farm laws was holding a demonstration against the visit of Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya on October 3. Two BJP workers and a driver were beaten to death allegedly by the angry protesters, and a local journalist was killed in the violence.

On Monday, the UP government agreed to the Supreme Court suggestion that a former judge of its choice may be appointed to supervise the state SIT’s probe.

The top court had also red flagged the issue of involvement of mostly low-ranking police officers in the ongoing SIT probe in the case and sought names of IPS officers, who are of UP cadre but not the native of the state, for being included in the investigation team.

The bench had also said that it has no confidence and does not want the one-member judicial commission appointed by the state to continue the probe into the case. Retired Allahabad High Court judge Justice Pradeep Kumar Srivastava was named by the state government to enquire into the eruption of violence on Tikonia-Banbirpur road in Lakhimpur Kheri district.

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