Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni’s son Ashish Mishra, accused of killing protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh in 2021, was granted bail for eight weeks by the Supreme Court today.
Ashish Mishra cannot live in Uttar Pradesh or Delhi and its nearby areas while he is out on bail. He has been ordered to leave Uttar Pradesh within one week.
The Supreme Court said any attempt by Ashish Mishra or his family to influence witnesses would lead to his bail being cancelled.
On October 3, 2021, Ashish Mishra’s SUV allegedly ran over four farmers and a journalist at Lakhimpur Kheri during a protest march against three controversial farm laws. The SUV driver and two BJP workers were allegedly killed in violence triggered by the incident. He was arrested days later.
Ashish Mishra had challenged the Allahabad High Court’s order rejecting his bail.
The families of the farmers have alleged pressure and bullying of witnesses by Ajay Mishra, a powerful BJP leader and the country’s junior Home Minister.
Last week, the Supreme Court said an accused could not be incarcerated for an indefinite period unless proven guilty.
Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, opposing bail, had said it would “send a terrible message” to society.
Mukul Rohatgi, representing Ashish Mishra, argued that his client has been in custody for more than a year and, given how the trial was proceeding, it could take seven to eight more years.
Ashish Mishra and 12 others will face trial for murder and criminal conspiracy among other charges.