Lakhimpur Kheri violence: UP govt appoints retired Allahabad High Court judge to probe
After the relaxations, Congress leaders reached the remote village
Farm groups say a Mahindra Thar owned by Mishra mowed down protesters
Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli will hear the case today
The Uttar Pradesh government has appointed a single-person commission to investigate the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case. Retired Allahabad high court judge Padeep Kumar Shrivastava will probe the incident and submit the report in two months.
ANI reported that a notification signed by Additional chief secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi said that the one-man commission has been constituted in the opinion of governor Anandiben Patel, who said that a probe is needed for the public importance.
On Sunday, eight people were killed in the violence in Tikunia in Lakhimpur Kheri. Four of them were farmers.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court registered a public interest litigation on its own on the violence on Wednesday. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and also comprising justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli will hear the case today.
The suo motu (on its own motion) case has been registered as “In Re Violence in Lakhimpur Kheri (UP) leading to loss of life”.
Local farmers blame home minister Ajay Mishra 'Teni' and his son Ashish Mishra for the violence that left four cultivators dead. Farm groups say a Mahindra Thar owned by Mishra mowed down protesters from behind while they were returning from a demonstration on Sunday afternoon.
The minister and his son deny the charge and say farmers pelted the car with stones that led to the driver losing control of the vehicle. They also accuse the protesters of lynching two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers and the car's driver.
Ashish Mishra and 20 others have been booked for murder but farmers continue to press for his arrest.
The opposition parties started attacking the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government after the incident. A number of leaders from Congress, Samajwadi Party and other outfits tried to visit Tikunia, but were stopped by Uttar Pradesh Police citing prohibitory orders in the area under Section 144 of the CrPC. Finally, the state government lifted the curbs on Wednesday and allowed all the politicians to visit the village.
After the relaxations, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, along with Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, his Punjab counterpart Charanjit Singh Channi, AICC general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal, party MP Deepender Hooda and Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president Ajay Kumar Lallu, reached the remote village - roughly 10km from the India-Nepal border.