Lakhimpur Kheri: SKM expresses shock at Ashish Mishra’s bail

Bench of Justices Surya Kant and J K Maheshwari directed that Ashish shall not stay in Uttar Pradesh or Delhi during the interim bail period

New Delhi: The Samyukt Kisan Morcha on Wednesday expressed shock at the eight-week interim bail granted to Union minister Ajay Kumar Mishra’s son Ashish in the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence which claimed eight lives, and said he could “divert” and “pervert” the course of justice.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and J K Maheshwari directed that Ashish shall not stay in Uttar Pradesh or Delhi during the interim bail period.

“Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) expresses shock and dismay at the order of interim bail of eight weeks granted to Ashish Mishra, son of Union Minister Ajay Mishra, who killed four farmers and one journalist in broad daylight by running them over with his vehicle at Lakhimpur Kheri of Uttar Pradesh,” the framers’ body said in a statement.

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“It is little consolation that the order stipulates that Mishra has to leave UP within one week of his release and he cannot stay in UP or NCT of Delhi,” it said.

The SKM said Ashish Mishra is a powerful politician affiliated to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and “his release will greatly intimidate witnesses and jeopardise the trial”.

“It may be kept in mind that the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government was soft pedalling the arrest and charging of Ashish Mishra and ultimately the Supreme Court had to order independent investigation and action. It can only be imagined how Mishra on-the-loose will divert and pervert the course of justice,” it said.

The farmers’ body said it had demanded swift punishment of culprits of Lakhimpur Kheri and removal of Ajay Mishra Teni from the Cabinet, but they have remained “unfulfilled”.

“SKM will keep vigil to ensure that Ajay Mishra does not start another reign of terror and humbly submits that the Supreme Court should revoke the interim bail and in any event, not extend it any further. Ashish Mishra and his father Ajay Mishra are a threat to society and they cannot be allowed to play havoc in society,” they said.

The SKM said it was happy to note that innocent farmers who were languishing in jail on account of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident have been given interim bail.

“SKM demands grant of permanent bail to the farmers and withdrawal of fake cases against them,” it said.

On October 3, 2021, eight people were killed in Lakhimpur Kheri district’s Tikunia where violence erupted when farmers were protesting against the then deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s visit to the area.

According to the Uttar Pradesh Police’s FIR in the case, four farmers were mowed down by an SUV in which Ashish was seated.

Following the incident, the driver of the SUV and two BJP workers were allegedly lynched by angry farmers. A journalist also died in the violence.

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had on July 26 last year rejected Ashish Mishra’s bail plea. He had challenged the high court’s order in the apex court.

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