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SC directs UP govt to file status report on Lakhimpur Kheri, will hear case again Friday

Bench comprising CJI Ramana and justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli tells UP's Additional Advocate General to update court on FIR, and arrests made so far.

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court Thursday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file a status report on the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.

Eight people, including four farmers, two BJP workers, a driver and a journalist, died in the clashes on 3 October, following violence after a convoy of three SUVs — including one allegedly owned by Ashish Mishra, son of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra ‘Teni’ — hit a group of protesting farmers, and sparked violence.

The Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana and justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli directed UP’s Additional Advocate General Garima Prashad to file a report on the FIR filed in the case, and to inform the court whether any arrests have been made.

The court also directed Prashad to get details on the petitions pending in the Allahabad High Court in connection with the incident.

During the hearing, Prashad called the incident “unfortunate” and informed the court that a retired Allahabad High Court judge has been appointed to a judicial commission of inquiry to look into the incident. She said the status report will have details on this commission as well.

The UP government has appointed a single member judicial commission comprising retired high court judge Pradeep Kumar Srivastava to probe the incident. It has asked the commission to complete the inquiry and submit a report within two months.

During the hearing, the court received a message that mother of one of the deceased, Lovepreet Singh, is in a critical condition “due to the shock of loss of her son” and needs urgent medical attention. The court directed the state lawyer to get her admitted to the nearest medical facility immediately and extend all facilities to her.

The case will be heard again Friday.

Also read: Lakhimpur Kheri FIR says minister’s son sat on left side of SUV, opened fire on protesters

Incident a ‘human rights violation’

The matter was initially listed as a suo motu petition.

During the hearing, the court said it had received a letter on the incident from two lawyers — advocates Shiv Kumar Tripathi and C.S. Panda — and it had then directed the registry to list the matter as a PIL.

However, it said that the matter got registered as a suo motu petition due to some “miscommunication”. The court then asked both the lawyers who wrote the letter to be present in court.

Advocate Tripathi addressed the court and called the incident a “human rights violation”, and alleged that the state government had not taken appropriate steps after the incident.

(Edited by Neha Mahajan)

Also read: One more death in Lakhimpur Kheri shouldn’t go unnoticed — Indian media credibility


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