farmers protests: Samyukt Kisan Morcha writes to Prez Kovind, demands Union Minister Ajay Mishra’s dismissal, arrest

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha on Monday wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind demanding the dismissal and arrest of Union Minister Ajay Mishra in connection with the Lakhimpur violence, and formation of an SIT under the Supreme Court’s supervision to probe the incident. The umbrella body of farmer unions, spearheading the agitation against the Centre’s three agri laws, noted that “conflict of interest is a key obstruction to justice” in the Lakhimpur Kheri farmers’ massacre and alleged that accused were receiving VIP treatment in custody.

“Union Minister of State for Home Mr Ajay Mishra should be immediately dismissed from his post. Mr Ajay Mishra should also be arrested immediately for his role in the murder (criminal conspiracy under Sec.120B in addition to other charges as described above).

“We also continue to demand that the investigation of this incident should be done by an Special Investigation Team (SIT) under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court,” the SKM said in the letter.

Four of the eight people who died in the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3 were farmers, allegedly knocked down by a vehicle carrying BJP workers. Angry farmers then allegedly lynched some people in the vehicles.

Farmers have claimed that Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish was in one of the vehicles, an allegation denied by him and his father who say they can produce evidence to prove he was at an event at that time. Ashish Mishra was arrested in the case on October 9.

The SKM alleged that accused were receiving VIP treatment in custody and witness statements were not getting recorded at the pace expected by the Supreme Court.

“It is very obvious that conflict of interest is a key obstruction to justice in the Lakhimpur Kheri farmers’ massacre, and any decent government would have, in terms of principles of natural justice, sacked and arrested Mr Ajay Mishra by now,” it said in the letter.