The Uttar Pradesh Police Monday filed a chargesheet against Union Minister of State Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra and 13 others, under charges including murder and attempt to murder, in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident that left four farmers and a journalist dead.
This is the first chargesheet in the October 3 case. Mishra’s car was allegedly part of the convoy of vehicles that ran over a farmers’ march against the farm laws.
Of the 14 chargesheeted by the police SIT, 13, including Ashish, are in jail. The one not in jail is Virendra Kumar Shukla, who is named for alleged destruction of evidence. Sources said Shukla is Mishra’s distant relative and block pramukh, and the SIT has sent him a notice.
Senior prosecuting officer S P Yadav said the SIT had filed a 5,000-page chargesheet, and the details will be known after studying it.
Ashish has been charged under IPC Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of Rs 50) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy), as well as under the Arms Act.
Apart from Ashish and Virendra Shukla, the others chargesheeted are Ankit Das, the nephew of former Rajya Sabha MP Akhilesh Das; Nandan Das Bhist; Satyam Tripathi alias Satya Prakash Tripathi; Lateef alias Kalley; Shekhar Bharti; Sumit Jaiswal; Ashish Pandey; Luvkush; Shishupal; Ullas Kumar Trivedi alias Mohit Trivedi; Rinku Rana; and Dharmendra Kumar Banjara.
The bail application of Ashish is pending in the High Court while others have applied for bail in a local court.
The SIT had recently filed a report in a local court calling the October 3 incident a “planned conspiracy”. It said the killings “did not happen due to negligence or callousness” and that the actions of the accused were “deliberate with an intention to kill”. On the SIT’s request, the court added the charges of attempt to murder and voluntarily causing grievous hurt against the accused.
Following the incident, an enraged mob had lynched two BJP leaders and Mishra’s driver. Seven people have been arrested in the lynching incident.
Mishra, the Union Minister of State for Home, has maintained that his son Ashish was at a wrestling event in their ancestral village Banveerpur, around 2 km away, when the incident happened. The farmers, however, have testified that Ashish was in one of the vehicles that ran them over.