Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 3
Ninety-two days after eight people, including four farmers, were killed in violence and rioting at Lakhimpur Kheri, the Special Investigation Team of the Uttar Pradesh Police probing the case on Monday filed a chargesheet against the 14 accused, including Ashish Mishra, the son of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra.
Ashish, who was in Mahindra Thar, one of the three SUVs that mowed down four farmers and a journalist on October 3, faces charges, including that of murder, attempt to murder, preplanned conspiracy, rioting and possession of arms.
‘Ashish was in SUV that ran over farmers’
- Chargesheet says prime accused Ashish Mishra was in Thar Mahindra which was the 1st to mow down farmers
- Shots were fired from Ashish’s rifle though he did not fire them, a co-accused did
- Accused Ankit Das fired from his licensed rifle; co-accused Lateef also fired shots; arms hidden at Lateef’s house
14th accused added at the last minute
- Although the original FIR named 13 persons, the SIT at the last minute added the 14th accused, Shukla
- He has been charged with destruction of evidence. He owned the Scorpio (one of the 3 vehicles) used in the crime
The SIT filed the 5,000-page chargesheet in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Chinta Ram today with Ashish Mishra included as the prime accused.
Although the original FIR named 13 persons, the SIT at the last minute today added a 14th accused, Virendra Shukla, for the alleged destruction of evidence. Shukla owned the Scorpio (one of the three vehicles) used in the crime.
Modi govt out to protect accused
The entire country has seen the truth of the chargesheet in a video, yet the government is trying to save the accused. —Rahul Gandhi, Congress leader
Special Public Prosecutor in the case SP Yadav told The Tribune that the CJM had allowed SIT’s request to bar the sharing of parts of the case evidence with anyone (including the accused) on grounds of public interest.
Over 208 witnesses are learnt to have been listed in the chargesheet, with the state responsible for their safety.
The chargesheet was filed within 90 days of the FIR, as mandated by law. The SIT is also likely to file a supplementary chargesheet. Meanwhile, lawyers representing the families of victim farmers are yet to receive certified copies of the chargesheet.
Mohammad Amaan, who represents farmers’ families, said while the chargesheet was a step in the right direction, the absence of Minister Ajay Mishra’s name from it was a disappointment.
“The original FIR application by Jagjit Singh, son of deceased farmer Nachhattar Singh, clearly named MoS Mishra. The minister’s name was however never included among the accused. We even submitted an application to the UP Police, demanding that the MoS be named as accused. Mahindra Thar that Ashish was occupying belonged to his father. We will pursue the matter in consultation with the families of the deceased,” said Amaan.
Satnam Singh, the father of Lovpreet (one of the four farmers who were killed), said the charge-sheeting of the accused within 90 days was a matter of satisfaction.
Besides Satnam and other affected farmers’ families, Pawan Kashyap, the brother of deceased journalist Raman Kashyap, also lamented the absence of Ajay Mishra’s name from the chargesheet.
The chargesheet includes offences under Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting armed with a deadly weapon), 149 (common intention of all members of the unlawful assembly), 307 (attempt to murder), 326 (voluntary grievous hurt), 302 (murder) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.
13 accused who are already in prison
Ashish Mishra ‘Monu’, Ankit Das, Nandan Singh Bisht, Satyam Tripathi, Lateef, Shekhar Bharti, Sumit Jaiswal, Ashish Pandey, Lavkush Rana, Shishu Pal, Ullas Kumar, Rinku Rana, Dharmendra Banjara and Virendra Shukla (yet to be arrested).
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