The bail application by Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni’s son Ashish Mishra, accused of running over farmers during a march last year, had been “vehemently opposed”, the Uttar Pradesh government has said, refuting charges by the families of the victims of letting the VIP off easy and not protecting a witness.
In its response to a plea challenging Mr Mishra’s bail in the Lakhimpur Kheri case, the Uttar Pradesh government filed its response in the Supreme Court today, saying that the decision to file an appeal against the bail “is pending consideration before relevant authorities”.
“Allegations that the UP government did not oppose bail to Ashish Mishra in Allahabad High Court is completely untrue… UP government vehemently opposed the bail application,” it said.
Denying allegations that a witness was attacked over the Lakhimpur Kheri case, the Uttar Pradesh government has said they were attacked over a personal dispute involving throwing colours on Holi.
It also contested allegations that attackers had issued threats that now that the BJP had won the UP elections, they would “take care” of him.
“Witnesses of the altercation say no such statements were made… Families of all victims and witnesses of Lakhimpur violence are being provided continuous security. The state government has provided armed gunners to witnesses,” the government said.
“Regular security appraisals are being done for witnesses. In the most recent interaction, they expressed satisfaction with security arrangements,” it said.
Chief Justice NV Ramana and other judges are of the Supreme Court are set to hear the petition filed by the relatives of the victims tomorrow, seeking cancellation of the bail granted to Ashish Mishra by the Allahabad High Court.
On March 16, the court had issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government and Ashish Mishra, seeking their responses to why his bail should not be cancelled. The court also expressed concern on the issue of a witness being attacked.
In its notice to the state government, the Supreme Court has also asked for a detailed response on steps being taken to protect witnesses and directed it to ensure their safety.
Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing on behalf of the petitioners, had told the Supreme Court that a key witness had been brutally attacked after Ashish Mishra got bail and the attackers had issued threats that now that the BJP had won the UP elections, they would “take care” of him.