SIT files 5,000-page charge sheet in Lakhimpur Kheri case
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the October 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, on Monday filed a nearly 5,000-page charge sheet.
Ashish Mishra, the son of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Kumar Mishra Teni, has been named as an accused in the case.
Ashish Mishra, who has already been arrested, was named as the prime accused in the case, according to sources.
Further, the number of accused in the case increased to 14 as another name has been added.
"The name of one more person, Virendra Shukla, has been added in the charge sheet. He has been charged under Section 201 of IPC," the prosecution lawyer said.
A total of eight people were killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence incident which took place on October 3, 2021 during a farmers' protest against the now-repealed three controversial farm laws.
Among the dead were four farmers, a journalist, two BJP workers and a driver.
A total of 13 persons are accused in the case, including Ashish Mishra and former Union Minister Akhilesh Das's nephew Ankit Das.
All the 13 accused, including drivers of the three SUVs and associates of Mishra and Das, are under arrest and are currently lodged in the Lakhimpur Kheri jail.
While the Allahabad High Court is yet to take a call on the bail application of Ashish Mishra, the bail pleas of the other accused are pending before a local court in Lakhimpur Kheri.
The SIT had recently requested a local court to add two charges in the case, attempt to murder and voluntarily causing grievous hurt, against Ashish Mishra and the 12 other accused.
The court had admitted the SIT's plea and ordered the addition of the charges, including under sections of the Arms Act.
The SIT had said in a report submitted to the court that the four farmers and the journalist were killed in the violence as part of a "pre-planned conspiracy".
The SIT wrote in the report that the deaths "did not happen due to negligence or callousness" and that that accused persons' actions were "deliberate with an intention to kill".