'Not satisfied with UP govt probe in Lakhimpur Kheri case': Supreme Court
- Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana-led three judges bench is hearing Lakhimpur Kheri case suo-moto.
Ashish, the son of Union minister Ajay Mishra 'Teni', who has been booked in connection with violence in Lakhimpur Kheri violence, will appear before the Uttar Pradesh Police on October 9, the state government informed the Supreme Court during a suo-moto hearing on the case. "A young man (Ashish Mishra) who is being targeted has been given notice and he will appear tomorrow at 11am," Advocate Harish Salve, who was arguing from the state government's side, told the top court.
A countrywide outrage erupted after eight people were killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri district, while farmers were staging a protest against the Centre's three laws. The deceased in the case include four farmers and a journalist. The incident led to massive backlash for the UP government which is led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yogi Adityanath.
During the hearing, the court also expressed its dissatisfaction over the investigation conducted by the state government in the case, so far. It then ordered the UP government to apprise the top court of an alternative agency that can conduct the probe.
A bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana also asked the UP government to direct its state police chief to ensure that the evidence in the case is protected till the time another agency takes over.
The top court also questioned the state government over not arresting the accused against whom FIR has been lodged. It then asked whether it treats "accused the same way in other murder cases in the country." "What is the message you are sending," asked the bench, which also comprises Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli.
The Supreme court has posted the matter for hearing on October 20.
On October 3, a group of farmers was coming back after holding a protest against the Centre's three farm laws when a SUV ran over them. Farmers allege that the Union minister's son Ashish was sitting in the car when it ran over protesters. But, Ajay Mishra has denied the allegations, claiming that his son was not present at the spot when the incident took place. Some miscreants mingled with protesting farmers and pelted the stones at the car which led to the 'unfortunate incident,' Ajay Mishra has claimed.
Police are investigating the case and a First Information Report (FIR) under section 302 of the IPC has been registered against Ashish Mishra and others in Tikonia police station.