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'Who Are the Accused, Arrested or Not?' SC Seeks Answers on Lakhimpur Case

The SC told the UP government that they haven't been properly investigating the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case.

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<div class="paragraphs"><p>Violence in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri after farmers were run over by a vehicle.</p></div>
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The Supreme Court on Thursday, 7 October, directed the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government to inform it on Friday as to who the accused were who were named in the FIR filed in Lakhimpur Kheri unrest and whether they had been arrested or not.

"We want to know who are the accused, whether arrested or not," a bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana and comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli asked UP's Additional Advocate General Garima Prashad.

It told the UP government counsel that the grievance is that "you are not properly investigating the matter".

As Prashad described the Lakhimpur Kheri incident as "extreme, unfortunate", the Chief Justice responded: "We also feel the same way".

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The bench also directed her to provide immediate medical attention to the mother of a person who was killed in the incident, as a lawyer informed the bench that the mother is suffering from shock after loss of her son and is in critical condition.

"Get her admitted in nearby government hospital," it said.

As Parshad told the bench that a Special Investigation Team has been appointed to conduct probe and a judicial commission of inquiry has also been ordered into the violence, the top court asked her to get all the information associated with the incident – who is heading the judicial inquiry into the matter and what happened to the PILs filed in the Allahabad High Court in connection with the matter.

The bench told Prashad to get instructions in the matter and listed it for further hearing on Friday.

Two apex court lawyers had written to the Chief Justice of India, seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the matter under the supervision of the top court.

The letter, written by advocates Shiv Kumar Tripathi and CS Panda, said, "With regard to the seriousness of the killing of the farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh, it is incumbent upon this Hon'ble Court to intervene in the matter as flashed in the press."

The lawyers had claimed that, of late, violence has become the political culture of the country, and there is a need to protect the rule of law in "violence-ravaged" Uttar Pradesh, which is evident from media reports.

Nine persons, including four farmers, were killed in the violence that had erupted during a farmers' protest in Lakhimpur Kheri.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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