Lakhimpur Kheri violence | Two arrested; Union Minister’s son summoned

Policemen on October 4, 2021 survey the spot where violence took place the previous day during a protest by farmers against the visit of Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya to Tikonia area of Kheri in Uttar Pradesh. 

 

The Uttar Pradesh police have arrested two persons and issued a summon to Ashish Mishra, son of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra, for questioning in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.

Amid demands for Mr. Ashish Mishra’s arrest in the murder case, the police issued him a summon to appear at the Reserve Police Lines in Lakhimpur Kheri at 10 a.m. on October 8.

The police said they had arrested two accused identified as Luvkush of Banveerpur and Ashish Pandey of Taranagar in the first FIR lodged by farmers. They had also identified six accused, including one named person, in the murder case lodged in the mowing down of the farmers in Tikonia.

Out of the six, three had died at the incident spot, the police said.

Police teams visited the site of the incident along with forensic teams and recovered two cartridges of a 315 bore firearm. The site was also searched with a metal detector on October 8.

A single-member inquiry commission under retired Allahabad High Court judge Pradeep Kumar Srivastava will probe the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, in which eight persons, including four farmers, were killed, the Uttar Pradesh government said on October 8. The commission will complete its probe in two months.

On October 4, a judicial probe was promised by the Yogi Adityanath government to the families of the four farmers who were killed after they refused to cremate the bodies and parked them in glass enclosures at the site of the incident in Tikonia.

In Focus podcast | What happened in Lakhimpur Kheri?

Inspector-General of Police Laxmi Singh said they had formed different teams for the case. While evading questions on why Mr. Ashish Mishra was not yet arrested, she said, “Nobody who has been involved in the incident will be left out.”

Ms. Singh said instances of firing or any firearm injuries had not been found. “Therefore, we have to proceed with other evidence,” she told reporters.

Four farmers, two BJP workers and a driver of a car they were in, and a local journalist were killed in the incident on October 3 and several others were injured. Three cars in the private convoy of Mr. Ajay Kumar Mishra allegedly ran over a group of protesting farmers. While the farmers alleged that one of the victims was also shot dead by Mr. Ashish Mishra while he tried to flee the site on foot to escape the outraged mob, the accused had denied the charges. Two post-mortem reports of the farmer also did not reflect any bullet injury despite loud claims by the family.

The exact sequence of how the other four were killed is still unresolved. The BJP Minister and a party worker who lodged the second FIR in the case alleged that the others were lynched to death by the farmers. The first FIR pertains to the charges of murder and criminal conspiracy against Mr. Ashish Mishra and 15-20 others. The second FIR is against unidentified persons.

 

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