UP govt to SC: 'Vehemently opposed' Ashish Mishra's bail
The Uttar Pradesh government has completely denied being soft on Union minister Ajay Mishra Teni’s son Ashish Mishra, accused of running over farmers during a march last year, and letting him get bail. Instead, the government had “vehemently opposed” his bail, the UP government said in its response to a plea filed in the Supreme Court, challenging Mishra’s bail in the Lakhimpur Kheri case.
The decision to file an appeal against the bail given to Ashish Mishra however “is pending consideration before relevant authorities”, said the UP government. The UP government however said that it was untrue that the UP government did not oppose bail for Ashish Mishra in the Allahabad High Court.
The UP government also denied allegations that a witness in the Lakhimpur Kheri case was attacked and blamed the incident on a personal dispute involving throwing colours during Holi. According to senior advocate Prashant Bhushan, who is appearing on behalf of the petitioners (the families of the victims), they had told the Supreme Court that a key witness had been brutally attacked shortly after Ashish Mishra got bail.
The attackers had threatened the witness that now that the BJP had won the UP elections, they would “take care” of him. The state government however refuted accusations that the witness had been threatened pointing out that witnesses of the altercation have said that no such statements were made.
The families of all victims and witnesses of Lakhimpur violence were provided continuous security, reiterated the UP government. Further, the state government added that they have provided armed gunners to witnesses and regular security appraisals were conducted for witnesses. The witnesses had also told the state government in their recent interactions that they were satisfied with the security arrangements.
The petition filed by the relatives of the victims seeking cancellation of the bail granted to Ashish Mishra by the Allahabad High Court, will be heard by Chief Justice NV Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli.
On March 16, the court had issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government and Ashish Mishra, asking for responses as to why his bail should not be cancelled. The court also said it was concerned about the witness being attacked. In its notice to the state government, the Supreme Court has also demanded to know the steps taken by them to protect witnesses and directed it to ensure their safety.