Lakhimpur Kheri: UP govt appoints retired Allahabad HC judge to probe violence

The Uttar Pradesh government has appointed a single-person commission to investigate the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case. Retired Allahabad high court judge Padeep Kumar Shrivastava will probe the incident and submit the report in two months.

Eight people were killed in the violence in Tikunia in Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday. Four of them were farmers.

The Supreme Court, meanwhile, registered a public interest litigation on its own on the violence on Wednesday. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and also comprising justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli will hear the case today.

The suo motu (on its own motion) case has been registered as “In Re Violence in Lakhimpur Kheri (UP) leading to loss of life”.

Local farmers blame junior home minister Ajay Mishra ‘Teni’ and his son Ashish Mishra for the violence that left four cultivators dead. Farm groups say a Mahindra Thar owned by Mishra mowed down protesters from behind while they were returning from a demonstration on Sunday afternoon.

The minister and his son deny the charge and say farmers pelted the car with stones that led the driver losing control of the vehicle. They also accuse the protesters of lynching two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers and the car’s driver.

Ashish Mishra and 20 others have been booked for murder but farmers continue to press for his arrest.

The opposition parties started attacking the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government after the incident. A number of leaders from Congress, Samajwadi Party and other outfits tried to visit Tikunia, but were stopped the by Uttar Pradesh Police citing prohibitory orders in the area under Section 144 of the CrPC. Finally, the state government lifted the curbs on Wednesday and allowed all the politicians to visit the village.

“Shared grief with the family of Lovepreet. But until justice is not done, this satyagraha will continue. Won’t forget your sacrifice, Lovepreet,” tweeted Rahul Gandhi. Lovepreet Singh was one of the four farmers who died in Sunday’s violence.

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