A forensic report has confirmed that weapons recovered from Union Minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra and others after the Lakhimpur violence had been fired.
Protesting farmers had alleged that Ashish Mishra had opened fire. Though the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report confirmed that the weapons had been discharged, it does not specify whether they were fired on the day of the violence or some other day.
Four weapons, including a rifle belonging to Ashish Mishra alias Monu Mishra, had been seized following the Lakhimpur violence. A pistol owned by Ankit Das, nephew of former Union Minister Akhilesh Das, and a repeater gun, which was with Das’ bodyguard Lateef Kale, were also among them.
A forensic report of the fourth weapon, a revolver owned by Das’ aide Satya Prakash, is awaited.
“Of the four weapons sent for ballistic examination to the FSL, it has been confirmed that firing took place from three, including Ashish Mishra’s rifle. However, the report did not confirm when the firing took place,” a senior official said in Lakhimpur.
The special investigation team (SIT) probing the case is yet to issue an official statement on the FSL report.
After the arrest of Ashish Mishra, Das and Kale, the SIT had recovered their licensed weapons – a rifle, pistol, revolver and a repeater gun – and sent them for forensic examination on October 15.
According to the First Information Report (FIR) registered by the police on a complaint of Jagjit Singh, a native of Bahraich district, the entire episode was “premeditated” for which the “conspiracy was hatched” by the Minister and his son.
The FIR stated that the farmers had gathered at the sports ground of the Maharaja Agrasen Inter-College on October 3 and they wanted to peacefully show black flags to Ashish Mishra and Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, who were visiting Banbirpur.
“Around 3 p.m., Ashish Mishra, along with 15-20 armed men, in three speeding four-wheelers, reached the protest spot in Banbirpur. Ashish Mishra, who was seated on the left side of a Mahindra Thar, opened gunfire. The Thar mowed down the crowd and sped ahead,” the FIR stated.
“Because of the firing, farmer Gurvinder Singh, son of Sukhwinder, a resident of Matronia in Nanpara, died,” it stated.
However, two successive autopsies conducted on Gurvinder Singh had ruled out bullet injuries.
Ashish Mishra and 15-20 unnamed men were mentioned as accused and charged with murder, criminal conspiracy, rash driving and rioting, among others. Of them, police have so far arrested 13.
Minister Ajay Mishra had refuted the allegations that his son was involved in the episode that took place near his native Banbirpur village in the Tikonia area of the district.
The FIR has been lodged under Indian Penal Code Sections 147, 148, 149 (all three related to rioting), 279 (rash driving), 338 (causes grievous hurt to any person by doing any act so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life), 304A (causing death by negligence), 302 (murder) and 120B (party to a criminal conspiracy).