Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Lakhimpur killings: In Parliament Opposition calls for removal of Union minister

Ajay Mishra

The Opposition MPs on Wednesday intensified their demand for the removal of Union minister Ajay Mishra from the Cabinet, a day after the Special Investigation Team of the Uttar Pradesh Police claimed in a report that the killing of four farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri, in which his son is an accused, was pre-planned.

The Lok Sabha was adjourned till Thursday on Wednesday as the Opposition leaders staged protests to push for Mishra’s removal.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi moved a notice in Lok Sabha Wednesday seeking adjournment of business to discuss a “definite matter of urgent importance”; the SIT report on Lakhimpur Kheri.

Key Congress leader said the government should “immediately sack” Mishra and “ensure justice is delivered to the families of the victims.”

The Uttar Pradesh Police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) in a plea before a local court described the farmers’ killings in Lakhimpur Kheri in October, in which Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra’s vehicle had ran over protesting farmers, as “pre-planned” and said that it was done with an intention to kill.

“It appears from the probe that has been conducted and material collected till now that the said act wasn’t a negligent act committed by the accused, rather, it was done intentionally as per premeditated plan to kill…”, read the SIT’s application.

After two months of investigation, the UP Police have moved the application to add attempt to murder and other criminal charges in the case against the accused persons, including Ashish Mishra and 12 others.

The SIT requested the court that IPC Sections 307, 326, 34 along with Sections 3, 25 and 30 of the Arms Act be invoked against all 13, in addition to the charges mentioned in the FIR (of murder and criminal conspiracy, among others).

The court has summoned the 13 accused on Tuesday. The court is yet to decide on the SIT’s application.

All the accused are currently in Lakhimpur Kheri jail.

On 3 October, eight people, including four farmers and one journalist were killed during a protest in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district against the Union government’s farm laws.

The Union minister’s son was arrested on October 9 following a huge outrage by farmers and Opposition parties. The arrest came a day after the Supreme Court said that it was not satisfied with the steps taken by the Uttar Pradesh government in the investigation.

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