Not enough has been done by the authorities, senior advocate Harish Salve, representing the Uttar Pradesh government on a PIL on the Lakhimpur Kheri deaths, told the Supreme Court today, as the state and its police force face questions on how to deal with the incident. Does matter.
“Yes, the authorities should have done the necessary work…” Mr Salve told a bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana a day after one of the accused – Ashish Mishra, who is yet to be arrested – Shamelessly skipped police summonsA senior officer is waiting.
Ashish Mishra, son of Union Minister Ajay Mishra, has been accused of being involved in a convoy of a group of farmers protesting at Lakhimpur Kheri in UP.
Four farmers were killed when an SUV collided with a group of farmers who hit a speeding vehicle. Four others, including a journalist, were killed in the violence that followed.
“We are not satisfied with the action taken by the UP government so far. We expect responsible government and police. The Chief Justice said the allegations were very serious, including injuries caused by bullets.
“What message are you (UP government) sending. Even under normal circumstances, the police will not go immediately and nab the accused?” he asked Mr. Salve.
Justice Surya Kant also said in the bench, “Whoever is involved in this… will they not be taken into custody. The law should take its own course.”
The court appeared to refuse the CBI probe at this stage (which was part of the PIL demands), observing that “CBI is not a solution… because of individuals (involved)“.
On Tuesday, a top police official told NB that the delay in arresting or interrogating Ashish Mishra was because the force is “busy in talks… postmortem… cremation”.
When asked whether the delay can be linked to the apparent connection of the accused, SN Sabat (ADGP, Lucknow Zone) said: “The attitude of the police is towards the victim and not the accused.”
Ashish Mishra was finally called for questioning yesterday after the Supreme Court pulled up the UP government and the police and demanded the filing of a status report on the matter so far.