UP: Lakhimpur Kheri violence case key witness ‘shot at’
Lakhimpur Kheri (UP), Jun 1: BKU leader Dilbag Singh, a witness in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, was allegedly shot at by two unidentified assailants here, police said on Wednesday. Superintendent of Police Sanjiv Suman said experts from forensic science laboratory (FSL) examined the crime spot and will submit a report regarding the incident.
Dilbagh Singh, however, did not sustain any injuries in the attack that took place on Tuesday night. The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Tikait) district president claimed he was returning home via the Aliganj-Muda road in the Gola Kotwali area in his SUV when the bike-borne assailants opened fire at him. Singh is one of the witnesses in Lakhimpur violence case, in which eight people, including four farmers and a journalist, died.
Union minister Ajay Mishra's son Ashish Mishra was arrested in connection with the incident. Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav targeted the state government over the attack on Dilbag Singh and asked if this was the state government's zero tolerance towards crime and criminals. Talking to PTI over the phone, Singh said the assailants punctured a tyre of his SUV, forcing him to stop his vehicle. "The assailants attempted to open the doors and windows of the SUV.
After they failed, they fired two shots at the windowpane on the driver's side," he alleged, adding that he was travelling alone. Sensing intentions of the assailants, Singh said he folded his seat and ducked. He said the assailants could not figure out whether he was shot or not as the windows of his SUV were covered with dark film.
Singh said he had sent his official gunman (provided to him by the district administration) on leave owing to his son's sudden sickness. He said he lodged a complaint at the Gola Kotwali police station soon after the attack and also informed BKU-Tikait spokesperson Rakesh Tikait about it. Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Arun Kumar Singh told PTI that on Singh's complaint, an FIR has been registered.
Forensic teams had been sent to the spot to examine the vehicle and the crime scene and collect evidence, he said, adding that efforts are on to identify the attackers. The ASP said the BKU leader sent his gunman on leave without intimating the senior police authorities.
"If the matter of his gunman proceeding on leave had been communicated to us, we would have provided him with another gunman as an alternative arrangement," the officer said. SP chief Akhilesh Yadav questioned the state government over the incident.
"A shameful example of the anti-farmer attitude of the chief minister has just been seen in Lakhimpur Kheri where two bikers opened fire on the vehicle of Dilbag Singh, district president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Tikait group)," Yadav said in a statement.
Yadav said,"Dilbag Singh is also a witness to the Tikunia incident that took place on October 3, 2021, when the farmers were crushed under a Jeep by the son of a Union minister. He had a narrow escape. The attackers wanted to kill him. Is this the BJP government's zero-tolerance (towards crime)?" PTI