Monday, Sep 26, 2022

Lakhimpur Kheri Violence: Allahabad HC HC rejects Ashish Mishra’s bail plea, cites apprehension of witnesses being influenced and gravity of accusations

Ashish, son of Union minister Ajay Mishra, has been accused of running over four farmers and a journalist with an SUV during a farmers’ protest in UP's Lakhimpur Kheri in October last year.

Lakhimpur Kheri Violence, farmers protest, Allahabad, Gujarat, Allahabad latest news, Indian ExpressIn a video apparently of a speech made to his supporters, Mishra dismissed allegations levelled against him. (File Photo)

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday rejected the bail application of Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case in which he is the prime accused.

On October 3 last year, a convoy of three SUVs, including a Thar owned by Ashish Mishra’s father and MoS 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.

Rejecting Ashish Mishra’s bail plea, Justice Krishan Pahal of the High Court stated: “Taking into consideration the complicity of the applicant, there being an apprehension of the witnesses being influenced, the severity of punishment as drawn from the nature and gravity of the accusations, after taking due consideration of the submissions of the parties… without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, I do not find it a fit case for bail.”

In February this year, Ashish was granted bail by the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court. The families of some of the victims then moved the Supreme Court seeking cancellation of the bail on the ground that they were not heard when Ashish’s bail application was taken up by the High Court.

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On April 18, the Supreme Court set aside the High Court order granting bail to Ashish and asked him to surrender within a week. The top court also 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.

Six days later, Ashish surrendered in a local court of Lakhimpur Kheri and was sent to jail.

“It is also true that the prosecution cannot claim parity as a right to the co-accused whose bail applications have been rejected by this Court, but yet the presence of the three vehicles at the spot from one of which the applicant was seen coming out is a crucial circumstance weighing against the applicant. The said Thar vehicle was registered in the name of the father of the applicant and he was seen in the said vehicle recovered from the spot, although the applicant was not seen driving it. There are two FIRs lodged by the witnesses having been threatened. The cross-version to the present case does not help the accused,” Justice Pahal said in the order while rejecting the bail plea on Tuesday.


The Special Investigation Team (SIT), which was constituted to investigate the case, has arrested 13 people, including Ashish. On January 3, the SIT filed a chargesheet against 14, including Ashish and his uncle Virendra Shukla, who has been charged with destruction of evidence.

Shukla was, however, granted bail by a Lakhimpur Kheri court on January 11. Except for Shukla, all the accused are lodged in jail.

Seven persons were also arrested in connection with the death of two BJP workers and Mishra’s driver. On January 21, the SIT filed a chargesheet against four persons in the case, stating that no evidence was found against three others.

First published on: 26-07-2022 at 01:57:03 pm
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