Lakhimpur Kheri violence: SC takes suo motu cognizance

New Delhi: At a time when the Opposition has been up in arms over the violence at Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri and protests have been intensifying, the Supreme Court filed a suo motu case regarding the alleged mowing down of protesting farmers.

Reports suggest a bench led by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Surya Kant, will hear the case on Thursday.

The matter has been listed as ‘violence in Lakhimpur Kheri (UP) leading to loss of life’.

Earlier, two apex court lawyers had written to the Chief Justice seeking a CBI probe into the matter under the supervision of the top court.

The letter, written by advocates Shiv Kumar Tripathi and C.S. Panda, said: “With regard to the seriousness of the killing of the farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh, it is incumbent upon this Hon’ble Court to intervene in the matter as flashed in the press.”

The lawyers had claimed that of late, violence has become the political culture of the country.

The lawyers said that there is a need to protect the rule of law in ‘violence-ravaged’ Uttar Pradesh, which is evident from media reports.

The letter said the Lakhimpur Kheri incident calls for direction against the UP government and the concerned bureaucrats along with the ‘law-breaking police’ machinery under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home, so that the “cult of violence comes to a grinding halt”.

Minister of State for Home Ajay Kumar Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra has been named in an FIR lodged by the Uttar Pradesh Police in the violence at Tikunia on Sunday for allegedly mowing down farmers who were on their way to protest against Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s visit. They were opposing Maurya’s visit to the Union Minister’s ancestral village for a function.

A total of nine persons, including a local journalist and four farmers, were killed in the incident.

The FIR against Ashish Mishra charges him with murder and causing death by negligence, but the subsequent police inaction is fuelling the anger of the farmers as well as Opposition leaders.

However, the Minister and his son have categorically denied any involvement in this incident and he claimed that his son was not present at the site of the incident.

(With IANS inputs)

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