Lakhimpur Kheri case: BJP Minister's son Ashish Mishra gets bail
Ashish Mishra, the main accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, was granted bail on Thursday. Mishra—the son of Union Minister of State (MoS) Ajay Mishra—was accused of mowing down a crowd during a farmers' protest last October. Eight people, including four farmers, were killed in the incident. Mishra's lawyer said he was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court.
Why does this story matter?
The Lakhimpur Kheri case was highly controversial due to the involvement of a minister's son. The killings were initially defended by some leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)—which heads the central and UP governments—until party leaders eventually distanced themselves from the case. The incident was viewed as an attempt to silence demonstrators involved in the year-long farmers' protest over the now-repealed farm laws.
Allahabad HC had reserved order last month
Justice Rajeev Singh of the Allahabad HC had reserved the order on Mishra's bail plea on January 18. Mishra's lawyer had argued that there was no evidence on record to back the charges against him, claiming that the accused was innocent. However, Additional Advocate General VK Shahi had argued against the same. Earlier, courts in Lakhimpur Kheri had rejected Mishra's bail.
PM Modi broke silence on case yesterday
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken about the Lakhimpur Kheri case for the first time. Speaking to ANI, Modi said the Yogi Adityanath-led UP government is "working transparently" in its investigation. The state government consented to any committee and any judge to probe the case as requested by the Supreme Court, he said.
What had happened in Lakhimpur Kheri?
On October 3, 2021, farmers protesting the central government's agricultural laws were staging a demonstration against UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya's visit to Lakhimpur Kheri. Mishra's three-vehicle convoy allegedly mowed down the rally, triggering violence. Four farmers, two BJP workers, a journalist, and a driver were reportedly killed. Witnesses alleged Ashish Mishra was driving the vehicle that rammed into the rally.
Farmers' protest intensified; government drew backlash
In the immediate aftermath of the incident, the farmers' protest was intensified. Critics had also said that the probe in the Lakhimpur Kheri was slow and favored the accused. Mishra was finally arrested on October 10 as the pressure mounted. The arrest had notably come after the Supreme Court pulled up the UP government over delay in action.
Controversial farm laws were withdrawn month after incident
Separately, in November, PM Modi announced the withdrawal of the contentious farm laws that sparked protests, giving in to the protesters' demands after nearly a year. Incidentally, Ajay Mishra continues to serve as Union MoS for Home in Modi's government despite calls for his removal.Share this timeline