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Ashish Mishra, accused of killing 4 UP farmers, to face trial

Lucknow: Ashish Mishra, son of junior Home Minister Ajay Mishra, will face trial for allegedly running an SUV over farmers in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri last year, after a court on Monday rejected his discharge application, and that of the other 13 accused. The court will frame charges against all accused on Tuesday. A chargesheet has been filed against all these accused.

On October 3 last year, Ashish Mishra was allegedly in a Mahindra Thar SUV that ran over four farmers and a journalist at Lakhimpur Kheri during a protest march against three (since scrapped) farm laws. Following the incident, the driver and two BJP workers were allegedly lynched by angry farmers.

Days before the Lakhimpur incident, Ajay Mishra (the father) had, in a speech in the area, allegedly threatened to "fix farmers in two minutes" if they didn't drop their agitation. The Junior Mishra was arrested only days later — after the Supreme Court intervened.

On April 18 this year, the Supreme Court cancelled the bail granted to Ashish Mishra in the case and asked him to surrender in a week, saying the 'victims' were denied "a fair and effective hearing" in the Allahabad High Court which adopted a "myopic view of the evidence". Videos showing the car ramming farmers were widely circulated, triggering anger and fierce criticism of state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his government.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had appointed a committee headed by retired Punjab and Haryana High Court judge Rakesh Kumar Jain to monitor the probe into the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

Meanwhile, in another FIR related to the killing of two BJP workers and the driver, the court framed charges against four accused against whom the chargesheet was filed — Vichitra Singh, Gurprit Singh, Kamaljit Singh and Gurvinder Singh.

Additional district government counsel Rajesh Kumar Singh said that the court fixed December 15 as the date for submission of evidence.

Singh said charges under sections 109, 114, 504, 427, 436 of the IPC were framed against Vichitra Singh, while charges under sections 143, 147, 148, 149, 323, 325, 427, 436, 504 and 302 of the IPC were framed against the remaining three accused.

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