Express News Service
LUCKNOW: Over a month after the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which eight persons including four farmers lost their lives, district police chief Vijay Dhull was transferred late on Thursday night.
Dhull has been attached with the UP state police headquarters in Lucknow and kept on a waiting list. DCP, Lucknow East, Sanjeev Suman, has replaced Dhull.
On October 28, the UP government had transferred Arvind Kumar Chaurasiya, Lakhimpur Kheri district magistrate. Chaurasiya was replaced by Mahendra Bahadur Singh.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Lakhimpur Kheri incident is now focusing on establishing the location of the three key accused including Ashish Mishra, Ankit Das and his bodyguard Lateef on that fateful day.
This has become important after the forensic report confirmed the firing from the three licensed firearms — a rifle, a pistol and a repeater gun — belonging to Mishra, Das and Lateef, respectively.
According to sources, investigators are trying to establish the presence of the three accused at the incident site through their cell phone locations and call details.
All three are in jail. Hearing in the bail plea of main accused Mishra is on November 15.
Police sources also claimed that during investigation, SIT stumbled upon some unclaimed mobile phones from the site and sent them for further examination.
Forensic reports that established firing from these three weapons did not clarify the date. Also, autopsy of the four farmers showed no gunshot injuries.
The autopsy report said all four died due to trauma, excessive blood loss and brain haemorrhage.
Well-placed sources also claimed that Das and Lateef had accepted in their statements that they fired in the air to escape from the spot when the mob attacked them after a fleet of vehicles ploughed into the crowd of protesting farmers. Mishra maintained that he was not present at the violence site.
While Mishra, son of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra Teni, was arrested on October 9, Das and Lateef were taken into police custody five days later.
Of the eight persons killed on October 3, four were farmers, three BJP workers and one was a local journalist.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Friday demanded that the Uttar Pradesh government pay the promised compensation of Rs 10 lakh to farmers injured in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence without any delay.
In a statement, the umbrella body of farmer unions spearheading the agitation against the Centre’s three agri laws said the compensation announced by the UP government on October 4 for the farmers injured in the violence haven’t been paid up till now.
“It is understood that the injured in the Lakhimpur Kheri Farmers’ Massacre have not been paid the promised compensation. The SKM demands that the compensation be paid immediately without any further delay,” it said.
The Uttar Pradesh government had announced a compensation of Rs 45 lakh to the families of the four farmers killed in the incident, and Rs 10 lakh to those injured in the violence.
Eight people were killed in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3.
Four of the eight victims were farmers, who were allegedly knocked down by a vehicle carrying BJP workers.
The police have so far arrested 13 accused, including Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra, in connection with the case.
Meanwhile, the SKM said the preparations for the November 26 all India protests are in full swing and that preparatory meetings are being held in several states to mobilise farmers.
The SKM has called for massive mahapanchayats in state capitals on November 26 to observe one year of the movement.
“Preparations for the ‘Lucknow Mahapanchayat’ on November 22 are also in full swing, and the Mahapanchayat is expected to witness a massive gathering of farmers, putting out a strong message to anti-farmer BJP,” it added.
It also gave the example of a wedding, which allegedly took place at Singhu Border, saying it reflects the preference of youth and shows their “attachment and commitment to the movement in numerous ways”.
“This is not the first time that this has happened, and visitors to the morcha sites would surely recall seeing weddings and wedding processions pass through the morchas, and newly-weds coming to the borders as though on a pilgrimage of their own,” it said.
Farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have been protesting against the Centre’s three agri laws, which were stayed by the Supreme Court in January, at the Delhi borders since November 26 last year.
(With PTI Inputs)