Son of India's Home Minister Charged as Main Culprit in Lakhimpur Massacre
17:37 GMT 03.01.2022 (Updated: 19:51 GMT 31.10.2022)
© AFP 2022 / NARINDER NANUFarmers shout slogans as they burn an effigy of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during a protest on the outskirts of Amritsar on October 6, 2021, days after 9 people died in violent clashes during a farmers protest in Lakhimpur Kheri district in Utta Pradesh
Eight people died in the 3 October Lakhimpur Kheri violence, of which four were protesting farmers, allegedly run over by vehicles owned by India's Minister of State for Home Affairs, Ajay Mishra.
Uttar Pradesh Police's Special Investigation Team (SIT) filed a 5,000-page chargesheet to the local court on Monday against 14 people, including Ashish Mishra, over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case.
Ashish Mishra, son of Minister of State for Home Affairs, Ajay Mishra Teni, is the main accused. The chargesheet stated that Ashish Mishra was present on 3 October, the day car ran down farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri.
The SIT claimed in its report that the incident was not the result of "negligence or callousness" but instead was a "planned conspiracy" and committed with the intention of killing.
Earlier, Uttar Pradesh Police filed a case under "culpable homicide".
The videos emerged after the incident sparked national outrage, leading the Supreme Court to confirm the loss of life in the violence. The opposition said the killing of the farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri was reminiscent of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre from the days of the British Empire.
25 October 2021, 18:41 GMT
The SIT has registered a case against all the accused under different sections of the Indian Penal Code, including murder. Thirteen accused, including Ashish Mishra, were arrested in the case. All of them are in jail. The 14th accused by the SIT is the minister's relation Virendra Shukla who is charged with having hidden evidence.
The chargesheet was filed 88 days after the incident. The opposition has been demanding the resignation of Ajay Mishra, an influential upper caste leader of Uttar Pradesh which is soon to go to the polls.
The incident took place on 3 October when hundreds of farmers had gathered for a demonstration in Lakhimpur Kheri district, when the junior home affairs minister Ajay Mishra and the Uttar Pradesh deputy chief, Keshav Prasad Maurya, were due to visit.
Videos emerged on social media showing that fast vehicles mowed down protesting farmers.