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Lakhimpur Kheri violence: Court rejects bail pleas of Ashish Mishra, 2 others

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The Lakhimpur Kheri district and sessions court on November 15 rejected the bail pleas of Ashish Mishra, Luv Kush Rana and Ashish Pandey in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case.

Sessions Court Judge Mukesh Mishra stated in the order that the investigation is still on in the incident of mowing down of farmers by a vehicle and so the court did not find any genuine reason to release the key accused on bail.

The prosecution presented the case diary, 60 eyewitnesses’ statements, and ballistic reports of 4 firearms to establish their involvement in the crime.

Appearing for Mishra, defence counsel Salil Srivastava, Chandra Mohan and Awadhesh Dubey maintained that the Union minister’s son was not present at the site of the violence on October 3.

After hearing the arguments, the court rejected the bail applications of the accused.

Eight people, including four farmers, were killed in the violence on October 3 during a protest over Uttar Pradesh Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya’s visit there. They were allegedly mowed down by Ashish’s convoy. In retaliatory action, farmers had allegedly lynched three BJP workers.

So far, 13 people have been arrested over the deaths of four farmers and a journalist. Police have also arrested four persons for the deaths of two BJP workers and the driver.

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The UP government had ordered the formation of a Special Investigation Team to probe the violence. Mishra was arrested on October 9 by the SIT.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had expressed disappointment over the way the probe was proceeding in the case and said that it would appoint a retired judge from a different high court to monitor the investigation till a chargesheet is filed.

The Uttar Pradesh government has constituted a one-member judicial commission to probe the Lakhimpur Kheri incident. Pradeep Kumar Srivastava, a retired judge of the Allahabad High Court, will investigate the matter.

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