The probe into the farmers' killing in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur will be monitored by a former Punjab and Haryana High Court judge, the Supreme Court said today.
Former high court judge Rakesh Kumar Jain has been appointed to supervise the day-to-day probe "to ensure impartiality and independence of the investigation," the top court said.
Two days after the court said the Special Investigating Team or the SIT in the case needs to be "upgraded", three IPS officers have been added to the team.
On Monday, the top court had objected to most of the officers in the probe team being locals of the Lakhimpur Kheri district.
"The concern is that you have to upgrade the task force that is probing the case. There need to be higher grade officers," Chief Justice NV Ramana had said.
Justice Surya Kant agreed: "Most officials in the current SIT (Special Investigation Team) are from Lakhimpur only. You give us the names of IPS officers who are from the UP cadre but don't belong to UP."
Eight people, including four farmers, were run over in the UP district on October 2, allegedly by Union Minister Ajay Mishra's son Ashish who was later arrested.
The Yogi Adityanath government, which faced huge criticism over the case, also faced tough questions in the top court.
Expressing dissatisfaction, the court had said the probe was not going at the expected pace. In previous hearings, the state government was asked why there were "only 23 eyewitnesses" to the violence.
"The Supreme Court had been unhappy with the way the probe was being carried out. Monitoring by a former high court judge will lead to a fair probe. We are hopeful of justice now," said petitioner Shivkumar Tripathi in response to the developments today.