Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Uttar Pradesh Police investigating the October 3 Lakhimpur Kheri violence has released six photographs of suspects who had allegedly lynched three BJP workers during farmers’ protest. According to the media reports the faces of the suspected persons are visible in the photographs and videos of the incident in the possession of SIT. In photographs unknown suspects are seen standing close to burning SUV with sticks and black flags.
Other than the BJP workers, a journalist and four farmers had died during the violence. Protesters accused that a convoy of vehicles including one owned by Ashish Mishra, son of Union Minister of State Ajay Mishra ran over the protesters killing four farmers on the spot. In the subsequent violence, protesters lynched BJP workers. Deceased BJP workers were identified as Shubham Mishra, Shyam Sunder Nishad, and Hari Om Mishra. Deceased journalist was Raman Kashyap who became a victim of brutality. The police is currently trying to ascertain whether the attack on BJP workers was planned or ‘retaliatory’.
The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh had formed the SIT following the incident. SIT has urged people to identify suspects in the photographs and released four mobile numbers on which people can give information to SIT about them. While the name of informers will not be disclosed, the SIT has also announced cash prizes on useful information without mentioning the amount as cash prize.
Right after the SIT displayed pictures of suspects the Congress-left oriented human right groups and activists started to criticize the SIT. Activist Trilochan Singh Gandhi, an activist criticized the police for sharing pictures of farmers without identifying their names or without evidence of their role in the violence may put them in peril.
But ADG (Lucknow zone) SN Sabat rubbished the allegation and said that the display of the picture was part of the legal process that doesn’t violate human rights.
So far, SIT has collected around 100 videos of October 3 violence. In the past five days SIT issued notices to three dozen people to record their statement. On Tuesday, the SIT recorded statements of seven persons who were present at the site. In this case the police have arrested 10 people, including minister’s son for the deaths of the farmers.