Yesterday did not just see FM Nirmala Sitharaman call the Lakhimpur Kheri violence “absolutely condemnable”, becoming the first of Ajay Mishra Teni’s ministerial colleagues to do so. It also saw UP law minister Brijesh Pathak visit the area. While Pathak only visited the families of BJP worker Shubam Mishra and Teni’s driver Hari Om Mishra, he is the first senior BJP leader to do so — albeit ten days after the incident. Are these signs that the opposition’s call for Teni’s sacking is getting closer to being heeded?
Even on the police front, after Teni’s son Ashish appeared to be treated with kids’ gloves in the early days, the investigation seems to be proceeding as per norms. Six persons in total have been arrested by now. The opposition can certainly claim that it is the pressure put by them that is making the difference here. But we know from the past record of highly politicised cases that developments in this case too will need close scrutiny over the long haul, to make sure justice is not perverted. Ideally of course the criminal case and the politics should walk independent paths. But their deep entanglement is undeniable reality.
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