The special investigation team (SIT), has now summoned 12 farmers in connection with the alleged lynching of three BJP workers during the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri that took place on October 3 last year.
Most of these farmers had earlier stated that they were present at the spot but were not involved in the attack. They were, at that time, charged under bailable sections such as ‘rioting’ and ‘voluntarily causing hurt’ and were let off by the SIT officials under Section 41 of the CrPC.
Seven farmers have been arrested in the case so far and the SIT is looking for more suspects.
An SIT member said, “We have issued summons to record statements of the farmers who were present on the spot and were part of the mob. A few of them appeared before us earlier but none were arrested.”
Advocate Harjeet Singh, who is representing the farmers, said, “A few farmers were earlier summoned for questioning under lenient sections as they were part of the mob but were not involved in the violence. The farmers who received the summons now are the ones who are witnesses in the case of the murder of farmers. We are waiting for the SIT to find the two other accused in the convoy who managed to escape.”
Four farmers and a journalist were allegedly mowed down by Union Minister Ajay Misra Teni’s son Ashish Misra’s convoy. Angry farmers had then in retaliation allegedly killed three BJP workers and torched two SUVs that were part of the convoy. Cross FIRS were registered in the case and the SIT submitted a charge sheet in which 14 people, including Ashish, who are in jail for the death of the farmers, were named. Seven farmers have been arrested in the lynching case. The investigation in the latter case is ongoing. Meanwhile, a copy of the charge sheet filed by the SIT in court against Ashish and 13 others for the deaths of farmers has been given to their counsel Avadesh Kumar Singh. Ashish’s bail plea will be heard by the Lucknow High Court on Thursday.