[Lakhimpur Kheri Violence] UP Local court rejects bail pleas of Ashish Mishra and two others

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In the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, the Bail pleas of Ashish Mishra and two others have been rejected by the Lakhimpur Kheri District and Sessions court on Monday. Ashish is Union Mister of State for Home Affairs, Ajay Kumar Mishra Teni's son and also one of the key accused in the matter.

The District and Sessions judge Mukesh Mishra stated in the order that the investigation is still on in the case and the court did not find any genuine reason to release accused persons on bail.

Ashish Pandey and Lavkush Rana have also been denied bail. All these three are among the 13 accused, identified and arrested during investigation of the first FIR regarding alleged killing of protesting farmers.

Earlier also, Misra's bail had been denied by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Lakhimpur Kheri, Chinta Ram.

As per media reports, Senior prosecution officials informed that the court rejected the bail pleas after hearing arguments by both sides for around two-hour. The prosecution submitted a case diary of the case, forensic and ballistic reports of four firearms received from a forensic science laboratory and statements of 60 eyewitnesses to establish the involvement of the accused.

The prosecution stated that the statements of 60 eyewitnesses have confirmed the presence of Ashish Mishra at the violence site.The prosecution also mentioned the ballistic report confirming firing from Ashish Mishra’s firearm.

Mishra was served a notice under Section 160 of Code of Criminal Procedure,1973 by the UP Police, and had appeared before the Crime Branch Office at Lakhimpur Kheri on October 9.  Thereafter, he was arrested and sent to the Lakhimpur jail on Sunday (October 10) after 12 hours of questioning.

Ashish had been named in the first FIR for murder, criminal conspiracy in connection with the killings at Lakhimpur Kheri. 

Also, a special investigation committee has been formed to probe the violence had identified 12 other accused in the case and arrested them. The other accused include Sumit Jaiswal, Ankit Das, Shekhar Bharti, Latif alias Kale, Mohit Trivedi, Rinku Rana, Dharmendra, Nandan Singh Bisht, Sishu Pal, Satya Prakash Tripathi alias Satyam. All the 13 accused are in judicial custody.

There is a second First Information Report (FIR) in the matter which was lodged in connection with the violence during which four others, including two BJP workers, a journalist and the driver of the car, which allegedly mowed down the farmers, were killed.

Supreme court is also overviewing the matter. Two Supreme court lawyers had written to the Apex Court, seeking time-bound CBI probe into the incident. The advocates had also sought directions to the Ministry of Home Affairs to get an FIR register into the case in addition to the punishment for Ministers allegedly involved in the incident.

Yesterday, the State of Uttar Pradesh informed the Supreme Court that it is agreeable to the appointment of a retired judge to monitor the investigation in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case.

Noting this, a bench comprising the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli had listed the matter to Wednesday, November 17 to decide the name of the judge.

The Incident 

On October 3, 2021, reportedly an unfortunate incident took place at Tikonia Banbirpur Road, District Lakhimpur Khiri,U.P on Sunday 2021 where at least eight people were killed as violence broke out during a farmer's protest against Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya and Union Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra Visits.

It was alleged that the violence ensued in the area after the two SUVs, in the convoy of a union minister, allegedly ran over a group of farmers protesting against the anti-farm laws during the visit of Uttar Pradesh Deputy CM.

In the violent incident(s) total of eight people died including four farm law protestors, two BJP workers, a driver, and a local journalist, while also leaving several others injured.