Lakhimpur violence victims’ kin losing hope for justice

Thousands of protesting farmers observed Black Day in Tikunia area of Lakhimpur on the death anniversary of the victims of violence. They demanded removal of minister Ajay Mishra Teni from the cabinet for a free, fair and speedy trial to happen in the case. A report by Mudit Mathur

The families of farmers are losing hope to get justice against powerful BJP Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni whose son Ashish Mishra Monu had allegedly mowed downed four farmers and a journalist under the wheels of his convoy while they were protesting against three farm laws (now repealed) in Tikonia area of Lakhimpur Kheri on 3rd October last year.

In a meeting organised by Bharatiya Kisan Union leaders Rakesh Tikait and Jasbir Singh Virk in front of Kaudiyala gurdwara in Tikunia area of UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri wherein thousands of farmers observed Black Day on the death anniversary of martyrs demanding sacking of Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni to ensure a free, fair and speedy trial. Farmers also demanded withdrawal of  the “cooked up” cases registered against farmers during their stir against farm laws.

The farmers’ leaders said that it is disheartening to note that despite prosecution filing chargesheet in January 2022, there has been no progress and charges have not been filed against the accused minister’s son and 11 others. They alleged the proceedings are being delayed on one pretext or the other. They feel unless minister is removed from the central government, they cannot hope for justice.

Jagdeep Singh, who had lost his father Nachattar Singh in the incident, said, “The trial in the case is yet to start as the court has failed to frame charges because the minister is using all his powers to save his son. We are trying to get the case transferred to Lucknow as the hope of justice is diminishing with each passing day.”

The BKU’s Kheri district president, Dilbag Singh alleged, “Ajay Mishra Teni will not let justice be served until he is in power. He has been giving controversial statements even after the incident and the government is openly supporting such a person who is responsible for the atrocious Tikunia violence.”

“BKU Kheri unit is providing all possible support to the families of the affected farmers. We gave Rs 2 lakh each to the families of our farmer brothers lodged in jail. We are also trying to ensure their bail,” he told.

The protestors later in the evening submitted a memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi through district administration Lakhimpur Kheri demanding removal of Ajay Mishra from the cabinet and slapping of  charges of criminal conspiracy against him.

It may be recalled that eight persons had lost life in the most atrocious incident of mowing down the protesting farmers killing four of them and a journalist in bone-chilling attack from behind in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3rd, 2021. Three BJP workers too were killed in retaliatory violent clashes as their vehicle overturned soon after it lost control and fell into a nearby trench, a few meters away from the crime scene.

The Supreme Court had cancelled bail granted to Ashish Mishra Monu expressing displeasure over the manner in which the single judge of the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court allowed bail and given clean chit to minister’s son in a lengthy order. Setting aside the Allahabad high court order, the apex court held that the victims were denied “a fair and effective hearing” in the High Court that adopted a “myopic view of the evidence.”