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'Now 'Monu Bhaiya' is Out...': How Lakhimpur Witness Was Attacked, As Per FIR

The attackers had also told the protected witness: “Now our BJP is in power, see what they do to you.”

Published
Law
3 min read
'Now 'Monu Bhaiya' is Out...': How Lakhimpur Witness Was Attacked, As Per FIR
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“See that witnesses are protected,” Chief Justice of India NV Ramana told the state counsel for Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday, 16 March. The CJI also asked for a detailed counter to the allegations of the attack on a “protected witness” in the Lakhimpur Kheri case.

The court said this as they issued notice in a special leave petition filed by the family members of deceased farmers, challenging the grant of bad to Ashish Mishra – "main accused" in the case.

The bench comprising CJI NV Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli then fixed Thursday, 24 March as the next date of hearing.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan had on 11 March informed the Supreme Court that there had been an attack on one of the protected witnesses in the Lakhimpur Kheri case on the evening of 10 March, almost immediately after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s sweep in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

The witness had alleged in his complaint, recorded in the FIR, that his attackers had said that “our Monu bhaiya (a seeming reference to accused Mishra) is out now, he is going to teach all of you a lesson” . They had also purportedly said:

“Now our BJP is in power, see what they do to you.”
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WHAT DOES THE FIR SAY?

According to the FIR, the incident took place at around 8:30 pm on 10 March. The witness, a farmer by profession, was on his way to drop his sugarcane at a factory.

It is pertinent to note that several witnesses, including this farmer, have been granted protection, further to the orders of the Supreme Court on conduct of the investigation by an SIT. He even had a gunman — a constable — with him when the crowd allegedly charged at him and surrounded his tractor.

“When people started to crowd around my tractor, the gunman stepped down from the tractor and tried to reason with the crowd,” he told the police.

It was then that the accused “found an opportunity to attack me with a belt and smash my head open. My clothes were also torn in the attack”, alleged the farmer, as per the FIR. He also added:

“They said 'Our Monu bhaiya is out now, he is going to teach all of you a lesson' and that 'now our BJP is in power, see what they do to you.' They also threatened to kill all the witnesses."

MORE DETAILS

The FIR was lodged at Tikonia police station of Lakhimpur Kheri, and the case was registered under Sections 147 (rioting), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The five accused who were named in the FIR, along with a few unnamed persons are Ashok, Ramu, Munnalal, Anil Trivedi and Pavan.

All five of them have since been arrested, sources in the police confirmed to The Quint.
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BACKGROUND

Eight people, including four farmers, were killed on 3 October, 2021, in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri region after being run over by a convoy of cars. Union Minister and BJP leader Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra, whose car was part of the convoy, had subsequently been charged with murder in connection with the case.

While challenging the Allahabad High Court order granting bail to Misha, Bhushan had pointed out that the accused wields substantial influence over the State government as his is a Union Minister from the same political party that rules the State (BJP).

Granting bail to Mishra, the high court had observed "there might be a possibility that the driver tried to speed up the vehicle to save himself, on account of which, the incident had taken place”. This, according to petitioners, is a perverse observation, especially because there was nothing on record to establish the same.

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Read and Breaking News at the Quint, browse for more from news and law

Topics:  Lakhimpur Kheri   Ashish Mishra 

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