Lakhimpur Kheri violence: 2 arrested; SC seeks status report on accused

Four farmers were mowed down by an SUV in Lakhimpur Kheri when a group agitating against the Centre's three new farm laws was holding a demonstration against the visit of UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya.

New Delhi (TIP): The Supreme Court on Thursday, October 7,  directed the UP Government to file a status report in 24 hours on the action taken by it, including the arrest of all accused named in the FIRs for murder, with regard to the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which eight persons, including four farmers, had been killed, even as two accused were arrested and Ashish Mishra, son of MoS Ajay Mishra, was summoned for questioning.

However, Ashish Misra, who was summoned after being booked in the Lakhimpur Kheri case, has failed to appear before the authorities for questioning. A Bench led by CJI NV Ramana said the report should give details on the arrest of the accused in the murder cases, including that of a journalist.

Terming the incident as “extremely unfortunate”, the Bench, also comprising Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli, asked the UP Government to provide immediate medical treatment to the mother of deceased Lovepreet Singh. “Get her admitted to the nearest government hospital,” UP Additional Advocate-General Garima Prashad was told. “We direct the learned Additional Advocate-General to look into the matter personally and provide best medical treatment to the mother of the deceased in a reputed government medical college/hospital,” the Bench ordered.

Prashad told the court an SIT was probing the matter and the state government had set up a commission of inquiry headed by Justice Pradeep Kumar Srivastava (retd) of the Allahabad High Court. The Bench asked her to mention everything, including information regarding PILs on the issue pending in the Allahabad High Court, in the report to be filed by the state government and posted the case for further hearing on Friday. The case could not be taken up at the first call as advocates Shiv Kumar Tripathi and CS Panda, who wrote to the CJI on the Lakhimpur violence, failed to turn up for the hearing. However, they showed up at the second call. Tripathi, who could barely manage to address the Bench due to poor Internet connection, complained of violation of farmers’ human rights and said the matter should be investigated thoroughly.

During the brief hearing, the CJI clarified that it was supposed to be a PIL on the basis of the letter written by the two advocates. “Doesn’t matter, we’ll hear it nonetheless,” he said. Later, the Bench directed the court’s Registry “to convert this suo motu writ petition into a PIL immediately.” Senior advocate Harshvir Pratap Sharma, who appeared for an intervenor, raised the issue of the death of journalist Raman Kashyap.

Judicial panel set up

UP Addl Advocate-General Garima Prashad said an SIT is probing the matter and the UP Govt has set up an inquiry commission headed by Justice PK Srivastava, who had retired from the Allahabad High Court.

Why are you silent on Lakhimpur incident, Kapil Sibal asks PM Modi

Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Friday, October 8, questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s silence over the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, saying just “one word of sympathy” was needed from him. In a tweet, Sibal said, “Lakhimpur Kheri Horror. Modi ji, Why are you silent? We need just one word of sympathy from you. That should not be difficult!”

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