Ashish Mishra was granted bail on February 10

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought response of the Uttar Pradesh government on a plea challenging the grant of bail by the Allahabad High Court to Ashish Mishra, son of Union minister Ajay Mishra, in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

Takingnote of the alleged attack on a witness, abench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana directed the state government to take necessary steps to ensure the protection of witnesses in the case.

The Supreme Court will hear the matter next on March 24.

On Tuesday, advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for some farmers, had informed the court that there was an attack on one of the prime witnesses of the case.

Mr Bhushan also said other accused in the matter were also approaching the Allahabad high court for bail seeking parity with the prime accused.

A single-judge bench of the Allahabad high court, on February 10, had granted bail to Mr Mishra.

Three family members of farmers who were killed in the violence have sought a stay on the bail order of the high court, saying the verdict was “unsustainable in the eyes of law as there has been no meaningful and effective assistance by the state to the court in the matter”.

On October 3, last year, eight people were killed in Lakhimpur Kheri during violence that erupted when farmers were protesting against Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s visit to the area.