'Cannot be an unending story': SC on Lakhimpur case probe
The Supreme Court of India today slammed the Uttar Pradesh government over its handling of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence which claimed the lives of eight people. It said the investigation "should not be an unending story" and raised questions about the ongoing probe. Violence had erupted in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri earlier this month during a Farmers' protest.
'State must dispel view that police is dragging its feet'
"The investigation must not be an unending story and the state must dispel the view that the police is dragging its feet about the investigation," a bench of SC led by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said in today's hearing.
'Waited till 1 am': CJI on delay in report
The top court also slammed the UP government for a delayed filing of the status report on the Lakhimpur case investigation. "We waited till 1 am last night but nothing was filed," CJI Ramana said. "You have examined 44 witnesses so far out of 164. Why not more?" the court asked, asking the UP government to file a fresh report before October 26.
What had happened in Lakhimpur Kheri?
On October 3, violence had broken out in Lakhimpur Kheri. A convoy of cars mowed down protesting farmers, killing four of them. In the ensuing unrest, four more people, including members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a local reporter, were thrashed to death. Farmers allege Union Minister Ajay Mishra's son Ashish Mishra was involved though they have denied that charge.
Minister's son is among 10 arrested so far
Ashish was arrested days after a case of murder was filed against him. He is currently in police custody. At least nine others have also been arrested in connection with the violence, including a local BJP leader who was seen at the scene of crime.
SC had earlier slammed UP Police's handling of the case
During the last SC hearing on the issue, a bench led by CJI Ramana had criticized the UP Police's handling of the case. "The allegation is of 302 (murder). Treat him the same way we treat other persons," it had said about the accused. The court also noted that a CBI inquiry is not the solution. "For reasons you know...because of persons."