At least 40 farmers have been sent notices by the special investigation team (SIT) probing the Lakhimpur unrest to join the investigation and record their statements pertaining to the violence on 3 October in Tikonia area in UP's Lakhimpur Kheri district.
According to a senior SIT official privy to investigation, notices have been issued to farmers in connection with the investigation in the second FIR registered by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker Sumit Jaiswal.
Sources in the SIT claim people who have been sent notices include organisers of the protest on 3 October and onlookers who were at the spot when a fleet of three cars ran over farmers. As per a source, no suspect has been identified yet and traced through the video footage of the incident available in the public domain.
At least five people turned up at the crime branch office in Lakhimpur Kheri to record their statements after notices were sent to them. More people are expected to join the investigation in the coming days as the probe in the second FIR gains momentum.
Lakhimpur Kheri: Probe in the second FIR registered by BJP worker Sumit Jaiswal gains momentum. Five farmers who were issued notice reached crime branch office earlier today to record their statement.
Video via @tv9_dharmendra pic.twitter.com/tQn0Xcropa
— Piyush Rai (@Benarasiyaa) October 18, 2021
While the second FIR mentions the mob lynching of driver Hariom Miahra and Jaiswal's friend Shubham Mishra, senior UP Police officials have already clarified the probe would look into four deaths – those of Hariom Mishra, Shubham Mishra, Shyam Sundar Nishad, and journalist Raman Kashyap.
The local BJP unit has been raising a consistent demand of a speedy probe in the deaths of their workers. Senior SIT officials claim appropriate action will be taken based on evidence and the team will make arrests once suspects are identified and traced.
Key Accused Among Four Arrested
Four more accused including absconding key suspect Sumit Jaiswal, who had registered a complaint against the farmers for the death of BJP workers, were arrested by the SIT on Monday. Jaiswal was one of the occupants of the Thar Jeep which was leading the three-car fleet which mowed down farmers.
Interestingly, Jaiswal had surfaced in the public domain after the incident, got an FIR registered in the death of BJP workers, spoken to the media claiming he was present in the Jeep, and had gone underground.
He, along with three more suspects – Sumit Jaiswal, Shishupal, Nandan Singh, and Satya Prakash Tripathi – believed to be present in the cars during the incident, were arrested. A licensed pistol and three cartridges were recovered from Tripathi. These arrests have taken the arrest toll to 10 in the first FIR registered against main accused Ashish Misra and 15-20 unidentified others in the death of four farmers.
Earlier, a senior SIT official had told The Quint that main accused Ashish Misra could not produce any evidence or alibi that he was elsewhere and not at the spot in Tikunia at the time of the incident on 3 October.
He was arrested after a 12-hour marathon questioning when he appeared to record his statement after second summon was issued to him.
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