Lakhimpur Kheri case: Family of farmers moves SC against Ashish Mishra’s bail

The family of the farmers killed in Lakhimpur Kheri violence that killed eight people in October last year, moved the Supreme Court on Monday challenging the Allahabad High Court order granting bail to the key accused, Union Minister Ajay Mishra’s son, Ashish Mishra.

The family members said that they approached the apex court as the State of Uttar Pradesh had not appealed against the bail granted to Ashish Mishra by the Allahabad High Court.

The plea contended that the High Court order did not consider the overwhelming evidence against the accused.

The plea further argued that factors like position and status of the accused with reference to the victim and witnesses given that his father is a Union Minister, the likelihood of him fleeing from justice and repeating the offence and the possibility of him tampering with evidence too were not taken into account by the High Court.

On February 10, the Allahabad High Court, while granting bail to Ashish Mishra, had said that there might be a possibility that the driver of the vehicle that ran over the protestors may have sped up to save himself fearing mob attack.

“Indubitably, no firearm injury has been found on the body of the deceased or any other person, except the injury of the hitting from the vehicle. Furthermore, in case, the story of the prosecution is accepted, thousands of protesters gathered at the place of incident and there might be a possibility that the driver tried to speed up the vehicle to save himself, on account of which, the incident had taken place,” the HC had said.

The HC had also said that though Mishra has been accused of inciting the driver of the SUV to run over the protestors, the driver and the two co-passengers were also killed allegedly by the protestors.

On October 3 last year, a convoy of SUVs, including a Thar owned by Ajay Mishra, ran over a group of protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri. Four farmers and a journalist were killed and several others were injured. In the violence that followed, two BJP workers and the driver of the Thar vehicle were also killed.

On November 17, 2021, the SC which had taken cognizance of the matter following letter petitions, had appointed former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court judge Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain to monitor the probe ordered by Uttar Pradesh Special Investigation Team (SIT).

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