Lakhimpur Kheri violence: SC orders UP govt to file status report

A Bench led by CJI NV Ramana said that the report should give details about arrest of accused in all murder case, including that of a journalist.

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The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Uttar Pradesh Government to file a status report in 24 hours giving details of action taken by it with regard to Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which eight persons, including four farmers had died on Sunday.

A Bench led by CJI NV Ramana—which had on Wednesday taken suo motu cognisance of the matter on the basis of a letter written by two advocates from Uttar Pradesh—said the report should give details about arrest of accused in all murder case, including that of a journalist.

Terming the incident as “extremely unfortunate” the Bench—which also included Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli—also asked the state government to provide immediate medical treatment to the mother of a deceased who is in a bad condition.

“Get her admitted to the nearest government hospital,” the Bench told the state government after advocate Amrit Pal Singh Khalsa drew the court’s attention to her medical condition arising out of her son’s death.

Senior advocate Garima Prasad, who represented the Uttar Pradesh Government in the hearing, assured the court that the directions will be complied with immediately.

She also informed the top court that FIRs had already been registered in the matter was being investigated by an SIT. The state government has also set up a commission of inquiry headed by Justice Pradeep Kumar Srivastava (retd) of the Allahabad High Court, she submitted.

The Bench asked her to put everything in the report to be filed by the state government and posted it for further hearing on Friday.

When Prasad said the incident was “extremely unfortunate”, the Bench said, “We feel in the same way.”

Earlier, the suo motu case initiated by the Supreme Court on the Lakhimpur Kheri violence could not be taken at the first call as the two lawyers who wrote to the CJI in this regard failed to turn up for hearing.

Advocates Shivkumar Tripathi and CS Panda from Uttar Pradesh—who had written to the CJI on Tuesday demanding a CBI probe into the incident—however, showed up for the hearing at the second call.

Tripathi — who could barely manage to address the Bench due to poor internet connection — complained of violation of human rights of farmers in the state and that the matter should be investigated properly.

During the brief hearing in the first round, CJI Ramana clarified that it was supposed to be a PIL on the basis of the letter written by two advocates seeking action in the matter.

“Doesn’t matter, we’ll hear it nonetheless,” the CJI said.

Senior advocate Harshvir Pratap Sharma raised the issue of the death of a local journalist—Raman Kashyap.

The top court had on Wednesday taken suo motu cognisance of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in Uttar Pradesh in which eight persons, including four farmers, were killed and many others were injured.

Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal too had on Wednesday urged the top court to act suo motu on the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

“Supreme Court, There was a time when there was no YouTube, no social media, the Supreme Court acted suo motu on the basis of news in the print media. It heard the voice of the voiceless,” Sibal had said in a tweet.

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