The latest forensic analysis of those killed in Lakhimpur Kheri violence challenge the findings in the post-mortem reports. A rifle, a repeater gun, and a pistol belonging to three key accused were used during the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, which was triggered after a convoy of cars allegedly ran over a group of protesting farmers and left eight people dead on 3 October, sources said.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT), which is probing the violence, has reportedly recovered the weapons from the accused Ashish Mishra, Ankit Das, and his private gunner Latif alias Kaale days after the violence and subjected them to ballistic examination. Mishra is Union minister Ajay Mishra Teni’s son.
At least one vehicle in the convoy that ran over farmers protesting three farm laws belonged to Teni. Four farmers, three Bharatiya Janata Party workers, and a journalist were killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence that followed.
Ashish Mishra, who has maintained he was not present at the site of the violence, was arrested on 9 October. Das and Latif were taken into custody five days later.
The farmers maintained there was firing during the Lakhimpur Kheri violence and that a farmer from Bahraich died of a bullet injury. But two post-mortem examinations of the farmer ruled out the bullet injuries.
The post-mortem reports of the eight concluded they died of shock, excessive bleeding, and haemorrhage caused by ante-mortem injuries and that none of them received bullet injuries.
No SIT official confirmed the use of firearms either.
The details about the FSL report have surfaced days after the Supreme Court on Monday said the investigation into the violence appears to be favouring the “main accused” in the case. The court pushed for the appointment of a retired high court judge from outside Uttar Pradesh to oversee the probe and “infuse fairness, independence and faith” into it.
Ashish Mishra was arrested after the court on 9 October criticised the kid-gloves treatment he seemed to be receiving from the police.
On 9 November, the state said it has “clinching evidence” of Mishra’s presence at the scene even as he and his father have consistently denied this and that forensic reports on the matter were awaited.
A police officer, who did not want to be named, said if it is established that the weapons were used for firing, it may bring more trouble for the main accused, Ashish Mishra, who has denied his presence at the scene.