The investigating officer told the Chief Judicial Magistrate that the incident was ‘well-planned’ and a deliberate act, and not of negligence or callousness.

Columns of smoke coming from two vehicles at the Lakhimpur Kheri violence sitePTI
news Violence Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - 14:50

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the October 3 Lakhimpur Kheri violence in Uttar Pradesh, has filed an application before the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) to include new sections against the 13 accused to make their offence punishable under attempt to murder charges. Vidhyaram Diwakar, the SIT investigating officer, filed the application last week in the CJM's court for adding new sections in the warrant, replacing sections 279, 338 and 304A of the Indian Penal Code.

In his application, the investigating officer pointed out that the incident was ‘well-planned’ and a deliberate act, and not of negligence or callousness. The incident occured on October 3, when eight people including four farmers were killed after being mowed down by an SUV. Union Minister of State Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra is the main accused in the case. A local journalist was also killed in the violence.

The investigating officer has requested to add Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 326 (Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code after replacing sections 279 (Rash driving or riding on a public way), 338 (Whoever causes grievous hurt to any person by doing any act so rashly or negligently) and 304A (Causing death by negligence) of the IPC.

The SIT has so far arrested Ashish Mishra, Luvkush, Ashish Pandey, Shekhar Bharti, Ankit Das, Latif, Sishupal, Nandan Singh, Satyam Tripathi, Sumit Jaiswal, Dharmendra Banjara, Rinku Rana and Ullas Trivedi in connection with the case. They are lodged in the Lakhimpur Kheri district jail.

Meanwhile, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has given two weeks' time to the state government to file a counter-affidavit on Ashish Mishra's bail application. During the hearing of the case, additional advocate general Vinod Shahi apprised the court about the ongoing investigation. Shahi said that statements of a large number of witnesses were still to be recorded.

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