Police summon Ashish Mishra, the son of India’s junior home minister Ajay Mishra, for questioning over the deaths of eight people including four farmers and a journalist at Lakhimpur Kheri
The top Indian court has directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file a status report on the First Information Reports filed in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, Bar and Bench reported. The court will hear the matter again on Friday.
Following the court orders, police summoned Ashish Mishra, the son of India’s junior home minister Ajay Mishra, for questioning over the deaths of eight people including four farmers and a journalist at Lakhimpur Kheri.
A bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices Hima Kohli and Surya Kant of Supreme Court was hearing the matter on Thursday after two Uttar Pradesh-based lawyers sought its intervention.
“We need to know who are the accused against whom FIR is registered and who is arrested,” Kant told Additional Advocate General Garima Prashad, representing the Uttar Pradesh government.
Eight people, including four farmers, were killed after violence erupted in Lakhimpur Kheri district on October 3 during a protest against the Indian government’s contentious agricultural laws.
Farmer bodies have alleged that a vehicle which was part of junior home minister Ajay Mishra’s convoy ran over the protestors. They have claimed the the vehicle belonged to the minister’s son Ashish Mishra.
The police have booked Ashish Mishra on multiple charges, including murder and criminal conspiracy. However, he has not been arrested yet.
"Summons have been issued to Ashish Mishra and he has been asked to come for questioning soon as possible and more action against him will follow," Lakshmi Singh, the Inspector General of Lucknow Zone.
"We are not shielding anyone. The law of the land is equal for all. We will ensure that strict action is taken," Lakshmi Singh said. The police have registered a case against 13 people. Two people were questioned on Thursday in the case.
At Thursday’s hearing, Shiv Kumar Tripathi, one of the lawyers who had written to the Chief Justice, said that the violence was a matter of violation of human rights.
He also alleged that the Uttar Pradesh government was not conducting a proper inquiry into the matter. The lawyer sought the Supreme Court’s directions to the Union home ministry and the Uttar Pradesh government to investigate the matter.
To this, Prashad argued that first information reports have been filed in the matter and an inquiry commission has been formed to investigate the violence. The court then sought a status report on the FIRs in the case, details of the accused persons and the arrests made in the matter.
The Supreme Court also directed the Uttar Pradesh government to admit Amritpal Singh Khalsa, mother of deceased farmer Lovepreet Singh, to a hospital after being told that she was in a critical condition.
Earlier on Thursday, the Uttar Pradesh government appointed a single-member commission of retired Allahabad High Court judge Pradeep Kumar Srivastava to conduct an inquiry into the violence. The commission has been asked to submit its report within two months.