Lakhimpur Kheri violence: SC asks UP govt to file status report after second FIR

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October 27, 2021 2:30 AM

The violence followed after four farmers were mowed down by a convoy of three vehicles allegedly ferrying Ashish Mishra, son of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra, who hit a group of farmers protesting against controversial farm laws at Lakhimpur Kheri. As many as eight people, including four farmers, were killed On October 3.

Senior counsel, HP Sharma, appearing for the family of the journalist, Raman Kashyap, who was killed in the incident, also asked the court to direct the police to apprehend the accused.Senior counsel, HP Sharma, appearing for the family of the journalist, Raman Kashyap, who was killed in the incident, also asked the court to direct the police to apprehend the accused.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file a separate status report on the investigation in the second FIR filed in Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which four people, including a journalist, were killed.

The violence followed after four farmers were mowed down by a convoy of three vehicles allegedly ferrying Ashish Mishra, son of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra, who hit a group of farmers protesting against controversial farm laws at Lakhimpur Kheri. As many as eight people, including four farmers, were killed On October 3.

A bench led by Chief Justice N V Ramana also asked the state government to grant protection to the witnesses and directed expeditious recording of their statements.

While fixing the matter for further hearing on November 8, the judges were surprised to know that out of a gathering of 4,000-5,000 people, only 23 people are eyewitnesses to the incident.

“We direct the district judge concerned to entrust the task of recording of evidence under Section 164 of the CrPC to the nearest judicial magistrates available,” the SC said while asking the state government to convey its concerns to forensic labs and experts on preparation of reports on the electronic evidence of the incident.

It also asked the state government to file its report on two complaints, including the one related to the lynching of a journalist. Senior counsel Arun Bhardwaj, representing Ruby Devi, widow of Shyam Sundar, submitted before the bench, the court that her husband’s killers were roaming free, and no action has been taken against them. There are three accused who were allegedly responsible for her husband’s death and the police have not taken any action against them, he said, adding that “the killers are roaming free and threatening us”.

Senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, informed the Bench that Sundar was accused and got killed after the farmers were mowed down. He said the police were investigating the second case in which the journalist was also killed.

Senior counsel, HP Sharma, appearing for the family of the journalist, Raman Kashyap, who was killed in the incident, also asked the court to direct the police to apprehend the accused.

Salve further informed the top court that out of 68 witnesses, 30 have so far recorded their statements under Section 164 Criminal Procedure Code. Of these, 23 are eyewitnesses who have identified 16 accused, he said, adding that digital pieces of evidence were also being examined in the matter.

The minister’s son has been arrested in the case after the apex court had pulled up the UP government over the delay in arresting the accused. The top court had acted on a letter petition sent by advocates Shiv Kumar Tripathi and C S Panda who sought a CBI probe into the matter.

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