Lakhimpur Kheri incident Hearing Today, November 8
The October 3 massacre of Lakhimpur Kheri has its hearing scheduled today at the Supreme Court. Eight people, including four farmers, were killed in a violence in the farmers' protest.
Chief Justice N.V Ramadan and justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli will preside over the hearing, while the apex court had directed the Uttar Pradesh state government to provide protection to witnesses under the Witness Protection Scheme of 2018. The Supreme Court had directed the UP government to record the statement of other witnesses before the judicial magistrate under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure(CrPC) and accelerate the investigation of the digital evidence by experts. The statements recorded under CrPC have evidentiary value.
The counsel of the State Government had reported to the SC, that the declaration of 30 out of 60 witnesses have been documented so far, and a few more testimonies will be accounted for.
Out of the 30 witnesses, 23 are claimed to be eye-proof, and the rest are formal indicators of recovery and all.
The State Counsel reported an advancement in the case: 16 accused have been identified so far. Several accused have been arrested by the police, which include Union Minister of State for Home, Ajay Mishra's son Ashish Mishra as well. Farm leaders have asserted that Ashish Mishra was seen in a nearby car, but the Home Minister of UP has declined such allegations.
The farmers' movement was conducted in protest of the three farm laws, allowing private intervention, and lowering of MRPs and other benefits to the farmers. The farmers were agitating in a demonstration against Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya on October 3, when a SUV pulled four protestors down. Two BJP workers and a driver were beaten heavily by the angry protestors, as reported. However, a local journalist was killed in the violence. Tragic digital evidence has also hurled around in social media.
The bench of the Supreme Court sought to assess the status report from the Uttar Pradesh state government in the case of the alleged lynching on a journalist and on Shyam Sunday after the vehicle moved down four framers.
Two lawyers have written to the CJI for a high-level judicial investigation in this grave matter, involving the CBI.
As a matter of fact, the apex court stayed the implementation of the three farm laws in January. The protest against the three draconian laws have involved many farmers', students' and workers' organisations as well as human rights' forums. The protest has spread from Punjab to Delhi, Haryana and UP.
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