MoS Ajay Mishra blames local police for Lakhimpur Kheri violence
Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra on Sunday blamed the local police for the Lakhimpur Kheri violence earlier this month. Mishra's comment came while addressing a prayer meeting at Singha Khurd village for three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers who were killed in the violence. Four farmers, three BJP workers, and a journalist were killed in the incident earlier this month.
Negligence of both police and administration: Mishra
Leveling allegations against the local police, Mishra said the deceased BJP worker, Shyam Sundar Nishad, was brought alive to the ambulance but was dragged out and killed in the presence of police officials. "The death of the three men is unfortunate, and the way the incident took place in the presence of officials shows the negligence of both police and the administration," Mishra said.
Mishra alleges police laxity in survey despite intelligence inputs
Mishra further alleged that despite intelligence inputs, the police did not conduct a proper reconnaissance of the area. He claimed no barricades were installed on the route through which the protesting farmers were returning after staging a demonstration. "Farmers were allowed to take over a road, and then the route was not barricaded by police," the Minister added.
Guilty cops will not be spared: Mishra
Placing the blame on the police, Mishra said, "The guilty cops will not be spared and the government will conduct a probe against them. The government has given a free hand to the investigating agency."
Road was barricaded, Minster's convoy didn't pay heed: Cop
Separately, a senior police official deployed for the security arrangement on the day of the incident refuted the Minister's claim. He told The Times of India that the road was barricaded from both sides. However, the Minister's convoy passed through the barricades at a "very high speed" and "did not pay heed" to the officers' signal to "slow down," the cop claimed.
Unaware of Minister's allegations: Lakhimpur Kheri SP
When TOI contacted Lakhimpur Kheri SP Vijay Dhull about the allegations, he said, "I am not aware of any such allegation (that) was leveled. The investigation of this case is with (the) SIT, and I can't comment on it."
Farmers staged 'Rail Roko' protest today demanding Mishra's resignation
Meanwhile, farmers staged a nationwide "Rail Roko" protest on Monday, demanding Mishra's resignation. The demand for Mishra's resignation had started to gain ground after his son Ashish Mishra, a prime accused in the case, was arrested on October 9. Ashish—who was arrested on charges of murder, rioting, rash driving, death by negligence, etc.—is currently in judicial custody.
What happened in Lakhimpur Kheri?
Four farmers died in UP's Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3 after Mishra's convoy mowed down a group of protesting farmers.
Four others were also killed in the incident and the ensuing clash.
The farmers alleged that Mishra's son, Ashish Mishra, was driving the vehicle that killed the protesters.
However, the Minister refutes the allegations, claiming his son was not present at the crime scene.