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New Delhi: The Special Investigation Team probing the mowing down of farmers by a car allegedly belonging to a Union minister’s son at Lakhimpur Kheri has said that the incident was a “planned conspiracy” and not “negligence or callousness.”
The SIT has moved court, asking for the 13 accused persons who have been arrested, including Ashish, the son of junior home minister Ajay Mishra, be charged with “attempt to murder”. Ashish is the main accused in the case.
Other charges that the SIT has demanded be added are those for voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons and acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention.
Journalists have tweeted what is reportedly a copy of the SIT’s letter to a judge asking for the above.
SIT probing Lakhimpur Kheri incident says murder of farmers was a planned conspiracy, wants attempt to murder, voluntarily causing grievous hurt charges added to case. SIT writes to magistrate asking for modification of charges against Ashish Mishra, others.
via @alok_pandey pic.twitter.com/eEQousWHgy
— Gargi Rawat (@GargiRawat) December 14, 2021
In the letter, written in Hindi, SIT investigation officer Vidyaram Diwakar says, “The incident was a deliberate act and not of negligence or callousness.”
Times of India has reported that the SIT has demanded that charges of rash driving, causing grievous hurt or death by negligence be replaced in the charge sheet.
Four famers were killed on October 3 at Boolgarhi of Lakhimpur Kheri, allegedly after a vehicle in Ashish Mishra’s convoy ran them over. Violence in its aftermath killed four more people, including a journalist.
The Supreme Court had earlier expressed dissatisfaction over the composition of the investigating team and said most of the officers in the team were of sub-inspector grade from the Lakhimpur Kheri region.
It also appointed Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain, a retired judge of Punjab and Haryana high court, to monitor the investigation.
On October 20, the court had rapped the Uttar Pradesh government, saying the Adityanath dispensation was “dragging its feet” and also expressed concern that the case against Ashish Mishra was allowed to be “diluted” by clubbing it with the case of mob lynching.
“What it appears to us is that this SIT somehow or the other is unable to maintain investigative distance between the cases,” Justice Surya Kant had said.