Lakhimpur Kheri case: Prime witness attacked, court told; SC to hear plea challenging Ashish Mishra’s bail Wednesday

During the hearing of a plea challenging bail to accused Ashish Mishra, son of Minister of State Ajay Mishra Teni, in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, the Supreme Court on Tuesday was informed that a prime witness in the case was attacked. Following this, the apex court stated that it will constitute the Bench which heard the case earlier to preside over the matter, and listed it for tomorrow.

Advocate Prashant Bhusan told the Supreme Court that the people who attacked the witness said, “now that BJP has won (the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections), they will take care of him”. He added that the co-accused in the case were seeking bail relying on the High Court order granting bail to Ashish Mishra.

The Bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, comprising Justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli, was hearing a petition filed by the family members of the farmers who were killed in Lakhimpur Kheri violence in October last year.

The CJI stated, “We are constituting a bench. It will be listed tomorrow. It will be listed before an appropriate bench.”

On February 10, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court granted bail to Ashish and said that although he was accused of inciting the driver of a vehicle to run over the protesters, the driver and two co-passengers were also killed allegedly by protesters.

On October 3 last year, a convoy of vehicles, including one 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 leaders and the driver of one of the vehicles were killed.

— with inputs from PTI, Bar and Bench

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