Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni’s son Ashish Mishra, the main accused in the killing of protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh last year, has been granted bail.
According to Ashish Mishra’s lawyer, he was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court.
On October 3, Ashish Mishra was allegedly driving the SUV that ran over four farmers and a journalist at Lakhimpur Kheri during a protest march against three controversial farm laws. He was arrested days later.
Videos that triggered anger and shock showed an SUV ramming farmers and crushing them without breaking speed. Eight people were killed at Lakhimpur Kheri that day. After the farmers were run over, violence broke out in which three more, including two BJP workers, were killed.
Courts in Lakhimpur Kheri have rejected bail for Ashish Mishra in the past.
The development takes place in the middle of elections in Uttar Pradesh. Lakhimpur will vote in the fourth round of seven-phase elections in UP.
The backlash over the Lakhimpur Kheri incident forced the Uttar Pradesh police to act and arrest Ashish Mishra. However, his father Ajay Mishra continues to be a minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government despite calls for his sacking.
As farmers’ anger became a big worry for the BJP, PM Modi announced the withdrawal of the farm laws in November, ending an 11-month protest.
Yesterday, PM Modi broke his silence on Lakhimpur Kheri in an interview to news agency ANI and said the Yogi Adityanath government “is working transparently” in the probe.
“The state government gave its consent for whatever committee the Supreme Court wanted, for whichever judge the Supreme Court wanted for the probe. The state government is working transparently,” the Prime Minister said.
After the UP police and administration were accused of going slow on the investigation, the Supreme Court ordered an inquiry.