India / We waited till 1am for report on Lakhimpur violence: Supreme Court to UP govt

Zoom News : Oct 20, 2021, 05:18 PM
New Delhi: The Supreme Court heard a PIL concerning the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which 8 persons, including 4 farmers, were killed during a farmers' protest on October 3. While hearing the case,  CJI NV Ramana pulled up the Uttar Pradesh govt for delay in filing the status report.

Senior advocate Harish Salve appearing for the UP govt told the apex court that a status report in a sealed cover has been filed in the case. CJI said judges waited till late last night for any filing and they have received the report now. Salve further appealed the court to adjourn the matter till Friday but the judges refused his request first, as mentioned in an ANI report.

After reviewing the report submitted by the UP government judges asked Salve, " You have examined 34 witnesses. Statements of 4 have been recorded. Why have not other witnesses' statements been recorded? Why the report only has a statement of only 4 witnesses?"

Salve responded that the process is underway and the government needs some time.

The bench further warned the UP government and said, "The investigations can't be an unending story and the state must dispel the view that the police is dragging its feet in the investigation.", as mentioned in the ANI report.

The court has adjourned the matter till October 26 and asked the UP government to file the status report before the hearing.

Uttar Pradesh government assured the apex court that it will provide protection to the witnesses.

Ten people, including Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra, have been arrested so far in connection with the case. The top court heard the matter after two lawyers had written a letter to the CJI seeking a high-level judicial inquiry, also involving the CBI, into the incident.

Four farmers were mowed down by an SUV in Lakhimpur Kheri when a group agitating against the Centre’s three new farm laws was holding a demonstration against the visit of Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya on October 3. Two BJP workers and a driver were beaten to death allegedly by the angry protesters, while a local journalist was also killed in the violence.