NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader and former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar on Friday welcomed the observation made by the Supreme Court while taking suo-motu cognisance of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case and said that the court exploring an alternative investigation mechanism is a vote of no confidence in the Uttar Pradesh government investigation agency.
Speaking to ANI, Kumar said that the observation of the Supreme Court constitutes a severe indictment of the way the investigation of the Lakhimpur Kheri tragedy was being conducted by the Uttar Pradesh government.
"Supreme Court has also said that it would seriously explore an alternative investigative mechanism. This is a clear vote of no confidence in the investigation being conducted by the state government and they have asked pertinent questions. How can this kind of laxity be tolerated in a murder case registered under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)," the former Law Minister said.
The senior Congress leader Kumar further said that the observation made by the court expresses concern regarding a fair investigation in the case.
Earlier in the day, Supreme Court said that it is not satisfied with the steps taken by the Uttar Pradesh government in the investigation of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case.
The court further directed the Uttar Pradesh government to apprise the court of an alternative agency that can conduct the probe. The top court observed that a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe is also not a solution because of reasons known to the Uttar Pradesh government.
"We are not making comments. CBI is not a solution for reasons known to you... because of the persons involved... better some other people look into it," observed the court.
Taking suo-motu cognisance of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, the Supreme Court said that it was a brutal murder of eight persons and the law must take its course against all accused. Court further said that it hoped that the UP government would take necessary steps due to the sensitivity of the issue.
Chief Justice Of India (CJI) NV Ramana directed the Uttar Pradesh government to ask its Director General of Police to ensure that the evidence in the case is protected till the time another agency takes it over.
On Tuesday, advocates Shiv Kumar Tripathi and CS Panda wrote to the top court, seeking punishment for politicians allegedly involved in the ghastly incident. The letter stated, "Having regard to the seriousness of the killing of the farmers at district Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh, it is incumbent upon this Court to intervene in the matter as flashed in the press."
As many as eight people died in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident that took place on October 3.
Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of several farmer unions, alleged that Union Minister of Home Ajay Mishra Teni's son Ashish Mishra arrived with three vehicles around the time that farmers were dispersing from their protest at the helipad and mowed down farmers.
However, Ashish Mishra refuted SKM's allegations and said he was not present at the spot where the incident took place.