Arguing for the Yogi Adityanath government in the case of violence in Lakhimpur Kheri, which the Supreme Court had taken suo motu cognisance of, senior advocate Harish Salve said today that the police had found no bullet injury in the body of one of the victims of the brawl that occurred in the said area last week. “I was told that post-mortem did not show any bullet wounds that is why 160 CrPC notice was sent.” He agrees, however, that “the manner in which the car was driven, allegations are true.”
Salve accepted the application of Section 302 (murder) on the defendant by the plaintiff. “I am saying allegations are true and there is a 302 case,” he said.
The Supreme Court is hearing the case arising from the Lakhimpur Kheri incident in which eight persons, who included both farmers and BJP workers, died. It is alleged that a car owned by Ashish Mishra, the son of Union MoS Ajay Mishra Teni, mowed down some people whereas videos earlier published by Sirf News shows a large mob of farmers trying to pull down the car from the road.
Reportedly, the bodies of four alleged farmers were recovered from the field on a side of the road, raising the question how they could have been mowed down off the road and also whether they were crushed under the weight of the car that was tumbling down due to their pull.
Yesterday, a Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli had sought a status report from the Uttar Pradesh government on the first information report (FIR) registered and arrests made in connection with the incident.
When CJI Ramana was not convinced by the ‘no bullet injury’ remark by the defence lawyer, Salve said, “They have found two cartridges; may be he had a bad aim and he missed it.”
Salve assured the court that the Uttar Pradesh government was inquiring into the matter and taking necessary action according to the findings.
The court was not happy with the suggestion of an investigation by the CBI. Concerned also about the neutrality of the probing agency and conservation of the evidence, the CJI said, “We don’t know if the good probe is conducted in this case because of the officers involved. Please ask the DGP to ensure that the evidence is protected and not destroy all in interim by the time another agency takes it over.”
The court, disturbed by the media trial in the case, expressed its reservations about some tweets that were spreading misinformation.