Amid calls by the Opposition for the suspension of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra for his son Ashish Mishra's involvement in the violence that ensued in Lakhimpur Kheri, the Special Investigation Team has arrested one more farmer- Gurpreet Singh (22)-in connection with the lynching of three BJP workers during the violence on October 3, 2021. Singh was allegedly absconding since the SIT released pictures of suspects about two months ago.
Seven farmers have been arrested thus far in the case, including Vichitra Singh, Gurwinder Singh, Avtaar Singh, Ranjeet Singh, Kamaljeet Singh and Kawaljeet Singh Sonu.
Based on the complaint of BJP worker Sumit Jaiswal, an FIR with charges of murder and rioting was initially registered against 'unidentified farmers'. Sumit himself is co-accused along with Ashish Mishra in the deaths of four farmers and a journalist during the violence. The FIR filed by Sumit, however, does not mention the deaths of the five allegedly mowed down by Ashish's convoy.
The first FIR- against Ashish and others- was lodged by the police based on the complaint filed by farmers. Terming the incident as 'planned', the SIT arrested 13 people in that case.
The apex court reconstituted the SIT in November 2021. IPS officers SB Shiradkar, Preetinder Singh, and Padmaja Chauhan, along with retired judge of the Punjab and Haryana high court, Rakesh Kumar Jain, were added to the team to probe the violence.
The deadline of 90 days for the investigation will end on Tuesday. The SIT is expected to file a charge sheet in both cases before that within the next two days.