SIT chief in Lakhimpur Kheri case transferred mid-probe

Hyderabad: Deputy Inspector General of police Upendra Kumar Agarwal, who heads the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the Lakhimpur Kheri case, has been transferred to a location 200 km away from the site of the incident, even as the Uttar Pradesh government is under the scrutiny of the Supreme Court for their lethargic and visibly biased actions in regards to the case.

Kumar who will still head the SIT has been posted as the DIG in charge of the Devipatan range, a site 200 kms away from Lakhimpur Kheri which is in the Lucknow Range.

UP police sources informed the Indian Express that the range Kumar has been posted in may pose as a challenge for him in thoroughly investigating the case. “It would not be possible for him to come daily to Lakhimpur Kheri and supervise the investigation. He is likely to take charge from Lakhimpur Kheri itself tomorrow morning but since the SIT’s investigation is presently at a crucial stage, he may go to his new office only after a few days,” said sources yesterday.

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Upendra Kumar will take over from Rakesh Singh, who has been promoted as the IG to the Prayagraj range. The transfers were alongside four other IPS officers as a part of a reshuffle.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court questioned the UP government on the status of the probe into the Lakhimpur Kheri case. The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana asked the government to “dispel [the] impression” that the state is “dragging its feet” in the case.

Ashish Mishra, the main accused and son of MoS Ajay Mishra, was remanded by the police on Friday, for a second time, alongside three others, and were kept under police custody for two days. Mishra, who is currently in jail in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, is supposedly said to have contracted dengue and as such has been sent back to the district jail on Saturday evening for treatment at its healthcare facility.

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