India / SC appoints ex-Punjab & Haryana HC judge to monitor Lakhimpur Kheri case probe

Vikrant Shekhawat : Nov 17, 2021, 02:27 PM
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed Justice (retired) Rakesh Kumar Jain, former judge of the Punjab and Haryana high court, to monitor the ongoing probe in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case.

Three Indian Police Service (IPS) officers have also been inducted into the special investigation team (SIT). The Supreme Court will hear the case after the charge sheet is filed and a report is received from justice Jain.

The appointment comes two days after the Uttar Pradesh government agreed to appoint a former high court judge to monitor the probe into the incident in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri, where eight people including four farmers died in October.

Ashish Mishra, the son of Union minister Ajay Kumar Mishra, has been named as the prime accused. Ashish was arrested on October 9 and continues to remain in jail. Apart from him, 12 others have also been arrested by the police.

Union minister Ajay Kumar Mishra has repeatedly said that his son is innocent, adding evidence is available to prove he was not involved in the violence.

On Monday, the Lakhimpur Kheri district and sessions court rejected the bail pleas of Ashish Mishra and two others—Ashish Pandey and Lavkush Rana.

The first FIR in this incident has been filed regarding the mowing down of four farmers by a vehicle after which the violence erupted near Banbirpur village.

Meanwhile, the second FIR was filed in connection with the violence where four other people, including two BJP workers, a journalist and the driver of the car, which allegedly mowed down the farmers, were killed, Hindustan Times reported on Monday.

Last month, the Uttar Pradesh police provided security to 60 witnesses after the Supreme Court's directive.

More than 50 people, who were present at the site when the violence erupted, turned up to record their statements at the crime branch office at Lakhimpur Kheri reserve police lines on October 30, after the SIT shared contact details of its officials and urged eyewitnesses to come forward to record their statement and provide digital evidence.