New SIT team reaches Lakhimpur Kheri, begins probe

New SIT team reaches Lakhimpur Kheri, begins probe

A vehicle set ablaze after violence broke out after farmers agitating were allegedly run over by a vehicle in the convoy of a union minister, in Lakhimpur Kheri. Credit: PTI File Photo

The new Special Investigation Team (SIT), set up by the Supreme Court to probe the Lakhimpur Kheri incident in which four farmers were mowed down by an SUV on October 3, has started working.

IPS officers SB Shiradkar, Preetinder Singh and Padmaja Chauhan, along with retired judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court Rakesh Kumar Jain, who was recently appointed by the Supreme Court to monitor the Lakhimpur Kheri violence probe, visited the crime scene in the Tikunia village on Thursday afternoon.

The SIT team carried out an inspection of the violence spot and prepared a map of the area. The team also visited Agrasen Inter college, where the farmers had initially gathered for the protest on October 3. The SIT team then went to Banbirpur village, 4 kilometres away from the violence spot.

Also Read | Families of Lakhimpur violence victims rue delayed decision on scrapping of farm laws

A wrestling event was organised in Banbirpur, where Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya was supposed to be the chief guest.

Later, on Thursday evening, the SIT members held a meeting with all other SIT members, including DIG and former head of the SIT, Upendra Agarwal. No official statement was given out.

It may be recalled that the Supreme Court had earlier expressed its reservations over the manner in which the investigation was being conducted by the earlier SIT and had incorporated three IPS officers in the probe team.

The reconstituted SIT is now being led by 1993 batch IPS officer Shiradkar, currently posted as additional director general of police (ADG), intelligence, in Lucknow.

Preetinder Singh is a 2004 batch IPS officer of Punjab cadre and is currently posted as DIG in Saharanpur range.

Padmaja Chauhan is a 1998 batch IPS officer currently serving as IG, recruitment board.

Violence had broken out during a farmers' protest in Tikunia on October 3.

Four farmers and a journalist were allegedly mowed down by the convoy of Union Minister of state for home Ajay Misra Teni's son Ashish. Three BJP workers were lynched after the angry farmers retaliated.

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