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Written by: Satyam Jain (Intern)

Edited by: Anubhav Yadav (Content Head & Developer)

A 3-car convoy of Uttar Pradesh Home Minister’s son ran over a group of farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3. Several arrests have been made in the case, following the intervention of the Hon’ble Supreme Court.

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The Background:

Hundreds of farmers had been protesting against the three farm laws for over a year. The ruling party’s workers were involved in various face-offs with the protesters before Oct. 3. The State Home Minister, in his speech, had referred to the protest as a 10-15 man protest, which he could disperse in 2 minutes. In the heated environment, the state’s HM’s son allegedly ran over a group of farmers, who were protesting peacefully in the Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh.

The Facts:

The minister and his son were to attend a wrestling match in Banveerpur on October 3, and the two were to arrive by helicopter at a college ground, using it as a helipad. The protesting farmers got to know about the arrival of the Home Minister and his son to the college and so, sat protesting in and around the ground. Evaluating the situation, the duo decided to change the mode of arrival and reached the ground by road, to avoid any clash with the protesters.

But, several eyewitnesses alleged that a 3-car convoy of the minister’s son, Ashish Mishra ran over a group of farmers protesting on the Tikonia-Banbirpur road, leaving 4 farmers and a journalist, Raman Kashyap dead on the spot. After the accident, 2 BJP workers and a driver were also killed amid the chaos and firing. The convoy consisting of a Scorpio, a Thar and a Fortuner allegedly drove recklessly, leading to the accident at around 4 pm.

In a series of claims made by the Minister, the first one was the absence of his son at the spot, as both of them were attending a wrestling match in Banveerpur. Owing to the increasing tension in the area, the District Magistrate deemed it fit to impose Section 144 and shut down the internet services into the district. With no arrests made so far, several opposition leaders wanted to meet families of the deceased but were denied entry into the district. Priyanka Gandhi Wadra and Akhilesh Yadav resorted to expressing their dissent on Twitter.

The state government of Uttar Pradesh immediately announced a compensation of 45 lakhs and allocation of a government job to the families of each deceased farmer. Damages of 10 lakhs were also decided for the injured protesters. Initially, the matter was to be probed by a retired High Court Judge, Mr Pradeep Kumar Shrivastava.

Β An FIR was filed against Ashish Mishra and 13 others alleging murder, criminal conspiracy, rioting, and death due to reckless driving. Another FIR was filed by Sumit Jaiswal against unidentified offenders alleging murder.

The situation kept on worsening then the Hon’ble Supreme Court took suo motu cognizance of the matter. It was a PIL, filed by Sr. Adv. Sidharth Luthra, being heard by a bench led by Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, NV Ramana and comprising of Justice Surya Kant and Jusice Hima Kohli. Due to miscommunication, the matter was listed as that of suo motu cognizance. The state of Uttar Pradesh was represented by Sr. Advocates Harish Salve and Ms Garima Prasad.

The Timeline:

October 3: The unfortunate event took place at around 4 pm.

October 4: FIRs filed

October 7: SC takes suo motu cognizance of the matter as no arrests had been made

October 8: Two arrests were made, and Ashish Mishra summoned by the UP Police

October 9: Ashish Mishra was arrested for not cooperating with the probe

October 10: Protest by Congress, SP. Meeting of senior opposition leaders with President Ram Nath Kovind

October 11: Maharashtra Bandh, a statewide shutdown by Shiv Sena, NCP, Congress. Ashish Mishra was sent to Police custody.

October 12: Farmers observe Shaheed Kisan Divas. Ankit Das surrendered in the CJM court and was arrested.

October 14: Ashish Mishra denied bail by the CJM court

October 20: SC says the case should not be an unending story.

October 24: Ashish Mishra reported being affected by dengue

October 25: Ashish shifted to jail from the hospital

October 26: SC asks, why only 23 eyewitnesses in a crowd of over a thousand farmers

The Conclusion:

The matter is pendente lite in the Apex court of the nation. Having attracted plenty of political attention, the Supreme Court ruled out a CBI enquiry into the incident due to the people involved in it. The matter is expected to be solved soon and Justice shall prevail.

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