The SIT probing the Lakhimpur Kheri violence on 14 October took union minister Ajay Mishra’s son and three others arrested in the case to recreate the sequence of events leading to the incident in Uttar Pradesh’s Tikonia village.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for the Lakhimpur incident and alleged that “the BJP government was anti-farmer” and claimed that there will be a regime change in the state soon.
Here are the key points-
- The SIT recreated the crime scene in the presence of four accused, including Union minister’s son Ashish Mishra and his friend Ankit Das, gunman Latif and driver Shekhar Bharti.
- Amid tight security, the three accused were taken to the site of the incident on the Tikonia-Banbirpur road, around 60 km from district headquarters Lakhimpur city, police said.
- The entire area, where the October 3 incident took place, in which four farmers were mowed down by an SUV and five others killed in the ensuing violence, was cordoned off.
- The accused were asked questions about their presence on the spot even though they knew that farmers were protesting there.
- On 14 October is the last day of the police custody of Ashish Mishra and a huge police presence was seen at the crime scene.
- The SIT arranged for three SUVs and dummies to recreate how the speeding vehicles mowed down farmers on that fateful day.
- The SIT cross-checked the statements of the four people in the case.
- During this exercise, the team of Forensic Science Laboratory, Lucknow was also present along with the SIT.
- The Rapid Action Force (RAF) has also been deployed along with the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) on the spot.
- Voicing dissatisfaction over the probe into the Lakhimpur violence case after the “red-carpet arrest” of MoS Home Ajay Mishra’s son, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said a fair investigation is not possible till the minister is removed from his post.
- Tikait said the “red-carpet arrest” of Ashish Mishra has fuelled anger among protesting farmers.
- Alleging that the investigating agency is going soft on Mishra’s interrogation, Tikait termed the probe a ‘guldaston wali puch-tach’ (investigation where bouquets are being presented).
- BJP leader Ram Iqbal Singh accused Union Minister Ajay Mishra of being behind the Lakhimpur violence and sought his sacking from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Singh said people were asking why the prime minister was not sacking the minister. Singh’s “threatening statement” added fuel to the fire.
Nine people died in the 3 October violence and of them, four were farmers, allegedly knocked down by a vehicle carrying BJP workers. Another version of the incident is that the driver panicked when the farmers attacked the convoy and, in a bid to drive away from the scene, ran the car he was driving over the victims. There is a third version that says the car never ran over the victims. Rather, some of the activists who were trying to pull the car down from the road got crushed under its weight as the vehicle tumbled down from the road to the adjacent field, which was why the victims’ bodies were found not on the road but in the field.
Infuriated farmers then allegedly lynched some people in the vehicles. The other dead included two BJP workers and their driver. The activists killed a journalist too.