Cruel, diabolic, barbaric, gruesome and inhuman: Allahabad High Court on Lakhimpur Kheri massacre

Court made this observation while denying bail to four Lakhimpur Kheri accused; dismissed the bail pleas based on possibility of tampering of evidence or endangering witnesses

Allahabad HCImage courtesy: Live Law

The Allahabad High Court on May 9, 2022 dismissed bail applications of four associates of Lakhimpur Kheri prime-accused Ashish Mishra citing possible tampering of evidence. Farmers’ umbrella body Sanyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) has welcomed this decision of the court.

Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh rejected the bail applications of Ankit Das, Sumit Jaiswal, Shishupal and Lavkush, all of whom were allegedly active participants in the planning of the “heinous offence” committed on October 3, 2021 as the court referred to the carnage in Tikonia village where Union Minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish allegedly ran an SUV car over protesting farmers and killed five people, including a local journalist.

“This incident might not have taken place if the Union Minister of State for Home [Ajay Mishra] did not make alleged utterances as pointed out in the counter affidavit and also mentioned in the charge-sheet. Several innocent lives would not have got lost in a most cruel, diabolic, barbaric, gruesome and inhuman manner allegedly by his very promising son and other accused,” Singh reportedly observed.

Prior to the killings, Mishra had threatened to chase and expel protesting farmers from Uttar Pradesh. The court order claimed that the central government’s inaction to this speech emboldened and encouraged Ashish.

“Political persons holding high offices, should make public utterances in a decent language considering its repercussions in society. They should not make irresponsible statements as they are required to conduct themselves befitting their status and dignity of high office which they hold,” said the court order.

Regarding claims that all accused in this case were not present at the scene of crime, was a singular observation for the court which questioned why Ashish and his associates were present at a wrestling competition that should have been cancelled in light of the Section 144 imposed in the area? The court pointed out that lawmakers cannot be “law violaters”.

“This Court cannot believe that it would not have been within the knowledge (of) the Deputy Chief Minister of the State that in the area provisions of Section 144 were clamped and, any assembly or gathering was prohibited. Despite this, the wrestling competition was organized and the Union Minister [Mishra] and the Deputy Chief Minister [Keshav Prasad Maurya] decided to be present as Chief Guest etc. in the event,” said the court order.

Dismissal of bails

Regarding the bail submissions, the court perused the charge-sheet and evidence collected by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) and acknowledged “full credit for carrying out free, fair, impartial and scientific investigation of the offence.”

The chargesheet provided overwhelming evidence against the accused-applicants. The court particularly observed that accused Ankit Das and Mishra belong to very influential political families, stressing the apprehension of the prosecution interfering, tampering with the evidence, influencing witnesses.

Earlier, after state elections, key witnesses in the district suffered threats against giving their statements about the October 3 ordeal. The SKM legal team had criticised the lack of proper protection to witnesses.

In the case of the other three accused, the court observed that Jaiswal, Shishupal and Lavkush are among the prime accused. All of them were sitting in the Thar vehicle along with Mishra, their close friend. Further, as per the investigation report, the former two persons took shelter in a sugarcane field and fired illegal arms.

“Looking at the overwhelming evidence against the accused-applicants and taking into consideration the submissions of learned counsel for the parties, I do not find it to be a fit case where the accused-applicants can be enlarged on bail at this stage,” said the court.

All four bail applications were dismissed.

Farmers rejoice

The SKM welcomed the dismissal of bails by the High Court. In a press release, it stated that Mishra has no justification to hold his position in the Cabinet after the remarks in the court order.

“This order gives hope that the wheel of justice has started turning in the right direction after the Supreme Court cancelled the bail of Ashish Mishra. The SKM, while thanking its legal team advocates Shashank Singh and Aman Khawaja, hopes that the court will take cognisance of all these facts even while reconsidering the bail plea of Ashish Mishra,” it said.

Mishra’s bail plea is to be heard on May 25. The order rejecting bail to his associates may be read here: 



BREAKING: SC cancels Ashish Mishra’s bail

Another Lakhimpur Kheri witness attacked!

SC slams State, issues notice for protection of witnesses in Ashish Mishra case

Lakhimpur Kheri case: SC questions HC order granting bail to Ashish Mishra, reserves order on challenge



Related Articles