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Lakhimpur Kheri: Ashish Mishra returns to jail after Supreme Court sets aside bail

A senior police officer said that Ashish surrendered in the chief judicial magistrate court of Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday from where he was taken to the district jail.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
Updated: April 24, 2022 5:33:46 pm
Ashish Mishra, accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, being taken to custody after he surrendered following Supreme Court's orders, in Lakhimpur Kheri district, Sunday, April 24, 2022. (PTI Photo)

Six days after the Supreme Court set aside the Allahabad High Court order granting bail to Ashish Mishra, the Lakhimpur Kheri case accused surrendered in a local court Sunday and returned to jail.

Ashish, son of Union minister Ajay Mishra, is accused of running over farmers with an SUV during a farmers’ protest against the now-repealed farm laws at Lakhimpur Kheri last October.

Lakhimpur Kheri senior jail superintendent P P Singh on Sunday confirmed that Ashish was brought back to the jail after he surrendered. “He has been admitted to the jail,” said Singh. A senior police officer said that Ashish surrendered in the chief judicial magistrate court of Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday from where he was taken to the district jail.

On April 18, a Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli asked Ashish to surrender within a week. The apex court remanded the matter back to the high court to consider afresh whether Mishra should be given bail or not after affording the victims’ families a hearing.

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On October 3, 2021, a convoy of three SUVs, including a Thar owned by Ashish Mishra’s father Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra, allegedly 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 killed.

On November 17, 2021, the Supreme Court which had taken cognisance of the matter following letter petitions sent to it, appointed former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain to monitor the probe by a special investigation team (SIT) constituted by Uttar Pradesh.

Following an investigation and the chargesheet, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court granted Ashish Mishra bail on February 10, 2022, and said that though 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. Given that there were thousands of protesters, the driver might have speeded up the vehicle to save himself, the court had reasoned.

In this context, it also added that the killing of the driver and the co-passengers could not be overlooked. The kin of some of the victims then approached the Supreme Court contending that they were not heard when Ashish’s bail application was taken up by the high court. They said there were technical problems during the hearing which was held virtually. The petitioners added that though they applied again, they were denied the opportunity to present their case.

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