UP Farmers’ Killing: 5,000-Page Chargesheet Against Minister’s Son, Others


Lakhimpur Case: Eight people were killed in the incident in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri last year

Lucknow:

The Uttar Pradesh Police’s special investigation team probing the Lakhimpur Kheri incident where eight people were killed in an anti-farm law protest has submitted a 5,000-page chargesheet to a local court.

Thousands of pages of the chargesheet were brought to the court of the chief judicial magistrate in Lakhimpur town in a big trunk secured by two locks earlier this morning by the police.

“Yes, the chargesheet has been filed,” senior prosecution officer SP Yadav told reporters in Lakhimpur.

Union Minister Ajay Mishra’s jailed son Ashish Mishra is the main accused in the murder of four farmers and a journalist in Lakhimpur Kheri in October last year. Eight people were killed in all.

If the court accepts the chargesheet, a trial in the case will start at a date given by the court.

After four farmers and a journalist were run over, allegedly by an SUV driven by Ashish Mishra, violence broke out in which three more, including two BJP workers, were killed.

Videos on social media that shocked the nation and sparked anger showed an SUV running over farmers at full speed.

The UP Police filed a first information report, or FIR, naming Ashish Mishra and 12 others as murder accused the next day, but it took them a week and the Supreme Court’s intervention to arrest the Union Minister’s son.

“The chargesheet has been submitted but when we filed the FIR, we had named Ajay Mishra Teni in the complaint too. But his name was not included in the FIR. We have given a representation to the SIT to include his name but it has not happened. We do not feel proper investigation has happened. The Thar SUV was in the name of the minister but he has not been named. We may have to go court asking for proper investigation. We are not satisfied with the investigation,” said Mohd Amaan, the lawyer for farmers.

Last month, the SIT told the designated local court that the killing of the farmers and the journalist was a “planned conspiracy” with intent to commit murder and not a case of death by negligence.

The charges of rash driving against Ashish Mishra and the others should be modified, the police team investigating the case wrote to the judge, adding that an attempt to murder charge and the charge of voluntarily causing hurt should be added.

Two FIRs were filed by the Lakhimpur Police – one was by the dead farmers’ families, who named Ashish Mishra as the main accused; the other was by Sumit Jaiswal, a BJP worker in Lakhimpur, against unnamed farmers.

Mr Jaiswal alleged the farmers instigated violence. In viral videos, Mr Jaiswal was seen running from one of the SUVs that hit the farmers. He was later arrested as a co-accused in the case linked to Ashish Mishra.

The UP government faced many tough questions as the Supreme Court heard a petition on the case last month. The Supreme Court directed the SIT to complete its probe soon. It also added three Indian Police Service officers to the team – those who are not from Uttar Pradesh, though they are allocated to the UP cadre. This was done over concerns that local policemen would manipulate the probe.

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