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SC to hear plea challenging Ashish Mishra’s bail tomorrow

Ever since he was enlarged on bail, his supporters have grown bolder and even brutally attacked an eye-witness in the Lakhimpur-Kheri massacre

Sabrangindia 15 Mar 2022

Ashish MishraImage: PTI

On March 15, 2022, the Supreme Court decided to hear the plea challenging Ashish Mishra’s bail order by listing it on the following day for an appropriate bench. The accused, Ashish Mishra, son of Ajay Mishra, BJP’s Union Minister of State for Home, had allegedly run over several farmers who were protesting peacefully in Tikonia village in Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh on October 3, 2021.

Brief background of the case

Ashish Mishra was travelling with a convoy of vehicles along with other goons, when his vehicle allegedly mowed down protesters. This led to the death of four farmers and one journalist among others at the spot. After dodging arrest for a while, Mishra surrendered, but quickly applied for bail. When it was repeatedly denied by lower courts, Mishra moved the Allahabad High Court.

It was on February 10, a day when Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections commenced, incidentally with a polling phase catering to several farmer dominated constituencies that the HC granted Mishra bail. Farmer leaders expressed great anger in the farming community on receiving this news, while survivors of the October 3, 2021 incident voiced fear for their lives.

And their fears were not unfounded, given how shortly after Ashish Mishra was granted bail, the impunity of his supporters became increasingly evident.

Attack on protected eye-witness

On the intervening night between March 10 and March 11, 2022, when 10 men allegedly belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) allegedly assaulted and threatened Diljot Singh, one of the witnesses of the Lakhimpur Kheri killings. The goons distracted gunman Manoj, a security guard assigned to protect Singh, and attacked the sugarcane farmer with belts. According to the FIR complaint, accused Ashok, Ramu, Munnalal, Anil Trivedi, Pavan and five to six others dealt severe injuries to Singh’s head and tore his clothes.

The plea against the bail order

The families of victims and eye-witnesses then filed a plea before the Supreme Court against the HC decision on February 21, 2022. In their petiton, they said, “The lack of any discussion in the High Court's order as regards the settled principles for grant of bail is on account of lack of any substantive submissions to this effect by the State as the accused wields substantial influence over the State government as his father is a Union Minister from the same political party that rules the State.”

The victim’s family advocate Prashant Bhushan told the SC bench led by CJI NV Ramana on March 15, “The witness was brutally attacked. Other co-accused is seeking bail based on the order.” He also informed to the Court about a shocking statement made to them, “They are saying now that BJP has won the election, you will see what we can do.”

SC was set to hear the plea today, March 15, 2022, but it had to reschedule it yet again. CJI NV Ramana stated, “We are constituting a bench. It will be listed tomorrow. It will be listed for an appropriate bench.”

Ashish Mishra’s feeble defence

Ashish Mishra’s legal representative argued at the time of his bail hearing that he was not present at the event when the killings occurred, but was instead attending a Dangal function four kilometres away. Senior Counsel G.D. Chaturvedi had said that even if the same was proved to be false, the complainant Jagjeet Singh said Ashish was sitting beside the driver and not in control of the Mahindra Thar vehicle.

Further, he said there is no evidence that proves Ashish ordered the driver to mow down the farmers. Chaturvedi said that even if the killing was proved to be a deliberate act, it cannot be linked to Ashish. Despite the complainant’s query of how a driver could disobey the orders of his employer – the son of an influential Minister – the Court eventually allowed Ashish’s bail.

 

Related:

Lakhimpur Kheri accused Ashish Mishra gets bail

SKM denounces BJP manifesto

UP’s Dy CM’s "Brahmin a superior way of living life" a sign of poll panic?

Punish BJP! SKM’s resolve for Mission UP

Lakhimpur Kheri killings: SIT files chargesheet against farmers!

Lakhimpur Kheri massacre: Fact-finding report highlights administrative tyranny

Lakhimpur Kheri killings were planned: SIT

 

SC to hear plea challenging Ashish Mishra’s bail tomorrow

Ever since he was enlarged on bail, his supporters have grown bolder and even brutally attacked an eye-witness in the Lakhimpur-Kheri massacre

Ashish MishraImage: PTI

On March 15, 2022, the Supreme Court decided to hear the plea challenging Ashish Mishra’s bail order by listing it on the following day for an appropriate bench. The accused, Ashish Mishra, son of Ajay Mishra, BJP’s Union Minister of State for Home, had allegedly run over several farmers who were protesting peacefully in Tikonia village in Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh on October 3, 2021.

Brief background of the case

Ashish Mishra was travelling with a convoy of vehicles along with other goons, when his vehicle allegedly mowed down protesters. This led to the death of four farmers and one journalist among others at the spot. After dodging arrest for a while, Mishra surrendered, but quickly applied for bail. When it was repeatedly denied by lower courts, Mishra moved the Allahabad High Court.

It was on February 10, a day when Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections commenced, incidentally with a polling phase catering to several farmer dominated constituencies that the HC granted Mishra bail. Farmer leaders expressed great anger in the farming community on receiving this news, while survivors of the October 3, 2021 incident voiced fear for their lives.

And their fears were not unfounded, given how shortly after Ashish Mishra was granted bail, the impunity of his supporters became increasingly evident.

Attack on protected eye-witness

On the intervening night between March 10 and March 11, 2022, when 10 men allegedly belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) allegedly assaulted and threatened Diljot Singh, one of the witnesses of the Lakhimpur Kheri killings. The goons distracted gunman Manoj, a security guard assigned to protect Singh, and attacked the sugarcane farmer with belts. According to the FIR complaint, accused Ashok, Ramu, Munnalal, Anil Trivedi, Pavan and five to six others dealt severe injuries to Singh’s head and tore his clothes.

The plea against the bail order

The families of victims and eye-witnesses then filed a plea before the Supreme Court against the HC decision on February 21, 2022. In their petiton, they said, “The lack of any discussion in the High Court's order as regards the settled principles for grant of bail is on account of lack of any substantive submissions to this effect by the State as the accused wields substantial influence over the State government as his father is a Union Minister from the same political party that rules the State.”

The victim’s family advocate Prashant Bhushan told the SC bench led by CJI NV Ramana on March 15, “The witness was brutally attacked. Other co-accused is seeking bail based on the order.” He also informed to the Court about a shocking statement made to them, “They are saying now that BJP has won the election, you will see what we can do.”

SC was set to hear the plea today, March 15, 2022, but it had to reschedule it yet again. CJI NV Ramana stated, “We are constituting a bench. It will be listed tomorrow. It will be listed for an appropriate bench.”

Ashish Mishra’s feeble defence

Ashish Mishra’s legal representative argued at the time of his bail hearing that he was not present at the event when the killings occurred, but was instead attending a Dangal function four kilometres away. Senior Counsel G.D. Chaturvedi had said that even if the same was proved to be false, the complainant Jagjeet Singh said Ashish was sitting beside the driver and not in control of the Mahindra Thar vehicle.

Further, he said there is no evidence that proves Ashish ordered the driver to mow down the farmers. Chaturvedi said that even if the killing was proved to be a deliberate act, it cannot be linked to Ashish. Despite the complainant’s query of how a driver could disobey the orders of his employer – the son of an influential Minister – the Court eventually allowed Ashish’s bail.

 

Related:

Lakhimpur Kheri accused Ashish Mishra gets bail

SKM denounces BJP manifesto

UP’s Dy CM’s "Brahmin a superior way of living life" a sign of poll panic?

Punish BJP! SKM’s resolve for Mission UP

Lakhimpur Kheri killings: SIT files chargesheet against farmers!

Lakhimpur Kheri massacre: Fact-finding report highlights administrative tyranny

Lakhimpur Kheri killings were planned: SIT

 

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