January 22, 2022 6:10:44 am
The Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the Lakhimpur Kheri violence incident, on Friday filed a second chargesheet against four farmers under rioting and murder charges. It gave a clean chit to three other jailed farmers, who will soon be released from jail.
The four farmers — Vichitra Singh, Gurpreet Singh and Gurvinder Singh and Kamaljeet Singh — are accused of lynching two local BJP leaders and the driver of Union Minister of State Ajay Mishra’s SUV after a convoy of three SUVs ran over four farmers and a journalist, killing them at Tikonia October 3. Angry farmers also set two SUVs ablaze.
On January 3, SIT filed its first chargesheet against Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish and 13 others in connection with the death of four farmers and a journalist. Except Mishra’s relative Virendra Shukla, others are in jail. Shukla, booked on charges of destruction of evidence, has obtained bail from a local court of Lakhimpur Kheri.
“On Friday, SIT filed a chargesheet, which is around 1,300 pages, against four accused on various charges, including murder and rioting. Statement of 46 prosecution witnesses were recorded,” said SP Yadav, senior prosecuting officer (Lakhimpur Kheri).
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The chargesheet has been filed under various IPC sections, including 147 (rioting), 149 (abetment), 114 (abettor present when offence is committed), 325 (causing hurt), 302 (murder), 427 (mischief by fire or explosive substance) and 504 (breach of peace), said Yadav.
Yadav said three other farmers — Avtar Singh, Ranjeet Singh and Kavaljeet Singh alias Sonu — were given a clean as SIT could not find evidence against them.
“The court has issued released order for those three persons and it has been sent to jail. The three will be released soon,” said Yadav, adding that the SIT is still pending. While Ranjeet and Avtar Singh have been in jail since November, Kavaljeet was arrested on January 1.
On October 3, a convoy of three SUVs, including a Thar owned by Ajay Mishra, ran over a group of protesting farmers, killing four of them and a journalist, and injuring several others. The farmers had assembled at the Tikonia crossing to show black flags to Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, who was scheduled to visit Ajay Mishra’s Baveerpur village for an event. Farmers were allegedly protesting over a video clip where the Union minister is purportedly heard threatening to drag protesting farmers out of the state.
In the subsequent violence, angry farmers lynched two BJP leaders Shubham Mishra (26) and Shyam Sunder (40) and SUV driver Hari Om Mishra (35). They set ablaze the Thar and a Toyota Fortuner owned by Ankit Das, nephew of former Rajya Sabha member Akhilesh Das. The driver of the third SUV, a Mahindra Scorpio, escaped with his vehicle.
The initial First Information Report was lodged on a complaint by Bahraich resident Jagjeet Singh, against Ashish Mishra and 15-20 unidentified persons. The second FIR was filed on a complaint by BJP leader and local corporator Sumit Jaiswal against unidentified miscreants protesting at the site. Jaiswal is among the 14 people arrested in the farmers’ death case.
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