Three-time former MLA Nirvendra Kumar Mishra was allegedly murdered on Sunday in Lakhimpur Kheri District, Uttar Pradesh, over an alleged case of land dispute.
A few local men allegedly carried out the crime near the Trikolia Padhua bus station. Mishra’s family members said that the men came with weapons to grab the land, and the former MLA and his son Sanjeev Mishra were attacked upon resisting the action. Mishra’s son sustained injuries in the incident and is now being treated at a hospital. The land dispute matter is reportedly also in court.
After the incident, Mishra and his son Sanjeev were rushed to the hospital, where the former MLA was declared dead. Sanjeev’s condition remains critical. Soon after Mishra’s death, his supporters gathered in huge numbers and started a protest by keeping his dead body on the road near Trikolia bus station.
Mishra was in a dispute with one Sameer Gupta and one Radheshyam Gupta - who are residents of Pallia - over the land in question. The disputed land was in Sameer’s name and Mishra was allegedly opposing its possession. A case under section 107/116 had been previously registered against Mishra and his son.
Mishra’s family members have alleged that UP police is in cahoots with the alleged murderers. The 75-year-old victim was a three-time MLA from Nighasan Assembly Seat; he had won twice as an independent candidate and once on a Samajwadi Party ticket.
“There was a dispute over a piece of land between the two sides due to which former MLA Nirvendra Mishra entered into an altercation, in the course of which he fell on the ground," said a senior police official.
“He was rushed to a Community Health Centre in Pallia, and was later taken to another hospital where he was pronounced dead," said the police official. They added that there were no injury marks found on his body till then.
“Now, we are going to the spot and further action will be taken based on our investigation,” the police official said.
The Uttar Pradesh Congress has attacked the Yogi Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party government over the incident, and alleged that the law and order situation in the state was “grim".
“Former MLA Nirvendra Kumar Mishra was murdered in Lakhimpur. The Jungle Raj of Uttar Pradesh is getting scarier, Yogi government is sleeping,” said Congress’ UP chapter in a tweet.
BSP leader Mayawati also condemned the incident. “The brutal murder of former MLA of UP Lakhimpur Kheri Shri Nirvendra Kumar Mishra alias ‘Munna’ and after the rape of a girl student in the same district, these incidents of murder are extremely sad and worrying," she said in a tweet.
यूपी लखीमपुर खीरी के पूर्व विधायक श्री निर्वेन्द्र कुमार मिश्र उर्फ मुन्ना की निर्मम हत्या व इसी जिले में छात्रा की दुष्कर्म के बाद फन्दा लगाकर की गई हत्या की घटनायें अति-दुःखद व चिन्ताजनक। सरकार दोषियों के खिलाफ ऐसी सख्त कार्रवाई करे जिससे ऐसी दर्दनाक घटनायें प्रदेश में रूकें।— Mayawati (@Mayawati) September 6, 2020
“The government should take such strict action against the culprits, so that such painful incidents are stopped in the state," she added.
पुलिस की उपस्थिति में आज दिनदहाड़े लखीमपुर में तीन बार के विधायक रहे श्री निर्वेन्द्र मुन्ना जी की निर्मम हत्या व उनके पुत्र पर हुए क़ातिलाना हमले से प्रदेश हिल गया है. श्रद्धांजलि! भाजपा राज में प्रदेश की जनता क़ानून-व्यवस्था के विषय पर चिंतित ही नहीं, भयभीत भी है.
— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) September 6, 2020
SP leader Akhilesh Yadav said the state was “shaken up" by the brutal killing of the former MLA. “In the presence of the police today, the state has been shaken by the brutal killing of Shri Nirvendra Munna ji, who was a three-time MLA, in Lakhimpur in broad daylight. Condolences. Under BJP rule, people of the state are not only worried about the law and order, but are also fearful," he said in a tweet.
The incident has once again added momentum to Brahmin politics ahead of the state assembly elections. The politicians had already been pushing to woo the upper caste after the encounter of Vikas Singh and announcement of Lord Parshuram’s statue.
Latching onto the narrative, the Opposition has sighted the MLA’s death as another proof of atrocity against the community. Congress leader and spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala on Sunday asked whether the leaders of ‘Brahmin community’ were being targeted by criminals in the state.
“Uttar Pradesh becomes a crime state. Murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping by organised criminals have engulfed the soul of Uttar Pradesh. The case of former legislator Nirvendra Kumar Mishra is living proof of this. Are the leaders of Brahmin society being targeted by criminals?," Surjewala said in a tweet.
With less than 18 months to go for the polls expected in early 2022, it’s the issue of ‘Brahmin discontent‘ that is increasingly becoming a political hot potato under Yogi Adityananth’s rule in the state. It has raised concern among the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s top leadership and has given the Opposition an opportunity to make some inroads.
In the last 8 months, eight Brahmin criminals have been killed in encounters. Vikas Dubey and his henchmen involved in Vikru case of Kanpur were among the eight deceased. Most of the encounters took place in Meerut with 14 killings, followed by 11 in Muzaffarnagar, nine in Saharanpur, seven in Azamgarh and five in Shamli.