Will the Lakhimpur probe be fair?

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The Lakhimpur-Kheri incident is blowing out of proportion. After eight protesting farmers were run over allegedly by MoS (Home) Ajay Kumar Mishra’s son Ashish, the situation seems to be tense in Uttar Pradesh. Interestingly, almost all opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were prevented from visiting the site by the UP Police. Social media went abuzz with videos and pictures of opposition leaders protesting against the Yogi Adityanath government and the UP administration for stopping them from visiting the incident site. However, it seems that Yogi had no intentions of stopping them, rather it was just to stall the leaders until he got a green signal from his supremo – Narendra Modi. But why this stalling game? This is something that is still not clear. Maybe for directions from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Isn’t Ajay Kumar Mishra, MoS (Home), directly or indirectly involved in the Lakhimpur-Kheri incident? Isn’t it right, if anybody can book him, it’s only the Prime Minister, only he who can take action against a minister in his council?

The simple fact is, Ajay Kumar Mishra has outlived his existence in Government. He should be sacked forthwith or told to voluntarily step down. After the ‘Lakhimpur-Kheri incident’, in which Mishra’s son is prime accused, if anybody is in advantage, it’s Ajay Kumar Mishra ‘Teni’. He can tamper with evidence and influence witnesses. So, to conclude that if anybody is standing in the way of a free and fair investigation, it’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is the man on the spot and he should post-haste arrest Ajay Kumar Mishra’s son, against whom the charge is “murder”, Section 302 of the IPC. Again, if anybody can summarily tamper with evidence and influence witnesses, it’s the Union Minister of State for ‘Home’ Ajay Kumar Mishra, who, however, has the Prime Minister’s back. The police are in his grips. It’s ludicrous and intriguing to see how the Prime Minister doesn’t see the connection.

Maybe Modi does not want to lose face. The Chinese are notoriously sensitive about losing face. The Japanese even more. Modi has met both Xi Jinping and Shinzo Abe. If Modi shunts Ajay Kumar Mishra out, he’ll be admitting he’s a poor judge of men. If he agrees he committed a mistake, his ego will deflate. Ajay Kumar Mishra is Kheri MP and he “rules” Kheri with an iron fist. In fact, there are more Mishra in Lakhimpur-Kheri than anywhere in Uttar Pradesh. Ajay Kumar Mishra was ready to launch Ashish Kumar Mishra into politics when Lakhimpur-Kheri hit. That mission stands curtailed. Though Ajay Kumar Mishra says his son is “innocent” and will not be going to jail, yet it is like Shahrukh Khan saying Aryan Khan wasn’t on the cocaine cruise. Meanwhile, Rakesh Tikait also appears to be going “soft” on the government. Notably, Tikait was the one who accepted INR45 lakhs compensation, which has irked the protesting farmers. This could be the ‘beginnings’ of a “betrayal” unfolding. The rest of the farmers and the opposition parties are in no mood to relent. The ‘Lakhimpur-Kheri incident’ with its mayhem – blood and gore – has hardened their stance. The farmers’ agitation has been there for 11 months. There have been several 100 deaths, but none of them more diabolical than the eight (or nine?) on October 3.

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