Lakhimpur Kheri violence: SC seeks details from UP govt on FIR, arrest of accused

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Representative image
Representative image

New Delhi [India], October 7 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file a status report on who are the accused against whom FIR has been filed in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence and how many of them have been arrested.

A Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli also sought a report from the state government on the status of the case registered in connection with the October 3 incident and the PILs in the matter before Allahabad High Court.

"It's in the petition that eight persons, farmers and a journalist, and other persons have been killed. We need to know who are accused, against whom FIR has been filed, and if they have been arrested. Add that in your status report," the Bench said.

The CJI also read a message received from advocate Amritpal Singh Khalsa that the mother of deceased Lovepreet Singh is in critical condition due to shock of her son's death and directed the Uttar Pradesh government to get her admitted to the nearest medical facility immediately and extend all facilities to her.

As advocate Garima Prasad, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, told the Bench the Lakhimpur Kheri incident was "unfortunate", the CJI said, "We also feel that way, eight people lost their lives".

Prasad said the entire incident will be properly looked into and investigation is proceeding. "We will file a report and FIR is there," she said.

To this, the CJI said the grievance is that they were not investigating properly.

Prashad replied that a Commission of inquiry has been formed on Lakhimpur Kheri violence and a status report will be filed in the case.

The Bench said it will hear the matter tomorrow.

At the outset, the Bench said two advocates -- Shiv Kumar Tripathi and CS Panda -- have written a letter on Tuesday. "We directed our Registry to register the letter as PIL but due to miscommunication, they registered it as suo motu. However, it doesn't matter. There was some confusion. Call these two advocates," the CJI said.

Yesterday, the list of the Supreme Court showed that it has registered a suo motu case on the violence that killed eight people in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri district on October 3. However, the CJI today clarified that he had asked the Registry to register the letter as PIL and because of some miscommunication it was registered as a suo motu case.

One of the advocates Shiv Kumar Tripathi, who wrote a letter to the CJI on the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, appeared before the Bench and argued that a number of farmers and other people have died due to negligence of administration and the court should take appropriate action in this regard.

There is human rights violence and the Uttar Pradesh government has not taken any steps, he said, adding that a letter petition was filed to register the FIR against culprits.

Meanwhile, a single-member Commission of Enquiry with headquarters at Lakhimpur Kheri was constituted to investigate the death of 8 persons in Lakhimpur Kheri. Uttar Pradesh government has appointed retired Allahabad High Court judge Pradeep Kumar Srivastava as a single-member Commission to inquire about the incident and the enquiry is to be completed within a period of two months.

Yesterday, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, AICC general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal, party MP Deepender Hooda and Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president Ajay Kumar Lallu, reached the village and visited the victims' families.

Local farmers blame Union Minister of State for Home Affairs and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Ajay Kumar Mishra 'Teni' and his son Ashish Mishra for the violence that left eight dead, including four farmers a local journalist and others. They were mowed down by a vehicle that was part of the convoy of the Minister in Lakhimpur Kheri in north-central Uttar Pradesh.

Videos are also being circulated on social media where a Mahindra Thar was seen knocking down protesters from behind.

The minister and his son deny the charges. Ashish Mishra and 20 others have been booked for murder but have not been arrested yet.

The government gave Rs 45 lakh as compensation for each family and announced a judicial probe. Channi and Baghel also announced Rs 50 lakh compensation each to the victims' families.

On Tuesday, advocates Shiv Kumar Tripathi and CS Panda wrote to the top court, seeking punishment for politicians allegedly involved in the ghastly incident. The letter has stated, "Having regard to the seriousness of the killing of the farmers at district Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh, it is incumbent upon this Court to intervene in the matter as flashed in the press." (ANI)

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