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Lakhimpur Kheri incident might not have occurred had Union Minister Ajay Mishra not threatened farmers: Allahabad HC

Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni. File

Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The Lakhimpur Kheri incident of last October, in which eight persons including four farmers were killed, might not have taken place had Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni not made utterances threatening local farmers with expulsion, the Allahabad High Court has said.

The court made the observation while rejecting the bail pleas of four co-accused of prime accused Ashish Mishra, the Minister’s son, in the killing of four farmers and one journalist on October 3, 2021 in Tikonia. The court said there was “overwhelming evidence” against each of the four accused Sumit Jaiswal, Ankit Das, Shishpal and Lavkush.

While rejecting the bail application of Ankit Das, the grandson of former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Babu Banarasi Das, Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh observed, “Political persons holding high offices, should make public utterances in a decent language considering repercussions in society. They should not make irresponsible statements as they are required to conduct themselves befitting their status and dignity of high office which they hold.”

The court further said, “As submitted, this incident might not have taken place if the Union Minister of State for Home had not made alleged utterances as has been pointed out in the counter-affidavit filed on behalf of the Investigating Agency and also mentioned in the charge sheet.”

Justice Singh said: “Several innocent lives would not have got lost in a most cruel, diabolic, barbaric, gruesome and inhuman manner allegedly by his very promising son and other accused.”

On September 25, 2021 while warning protesting farmers to “mend themselves” or else he would not take more than two minutes to “mend them himself”, Mr. Mishra had reminded them of his past record before he was elected a public representative and said that he did “not run from any challenge.” It was this statement that allegedly triggered the protests by farmers on October 3, a day when he had organised a wrestling contest in his ancestral village of Banveerpur.

The court also wondered that when Section 144 was clamped in the area, why was the wrestling competition not cancelled.

“The law makers cannot be seen to be law violaters. This court cannot believe that it would not have been within the knowledge the Deputy Chief Minister of the State (Keshav Prasad Maurya) that in the area provisions of Section 144 Cr.P.C. were clamped and, any assembly or gathering was prohibited. Despite this, the wrestling competition was organised and the Union Minister of State for Home and the Deputy Chief Minister decided to be present as chief guest etc. in the event,” the court said.


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Printable version | May 23, 2022 9:37:51 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/lakhimpur-incident-might-not-have-occurred-had-union-minister-ajay-mishra-not-threatened-farmers-allahabad-hc/article65397429.ece