The Allahabad high court on Friday declined to order a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into the Bhatta Parsaul land agitation case in which four persons were killed in gun battle between villagers and police.
The court, however, expressed hope that with the "change of guard" in Uttar Pradesh, the CB-CID would be able to conduct a fair investigation and asked the state government to constitute a committee of senior officials to "monitor" the same and submit a progress report within four months.
Passing the order on a writ petition filed by Satish Kumar and other residents of Bhatta Parsaul village in Gautam Buddh Nagar district, a division bench comprising justices Imtiyaz Murtaza and V K Dixit said, "We do not think the local people should not trust the fairness of the investigation.
"In the recently concluded election, a new government has been formed and there is change of guard in the hierarchy of administration as well. It is hoped that the CB-CID ill conduct the investigation in a fair manner and take the matter to finality preferably within four months."
The court also asked the state government to "constitute a committee comprising senior officials who may monitor the progress of the investigation from time to time".
A clash had erupted at the village on May 7 last year between police and farmers, agitating over acquisition of land by the then Mayawati government for the development of Greater Noida. Four persons, including two policemen, were killed in the incident and several others, including the then District Magistrate, were injured.
The incident had snowballed into a major political controversy after Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi visited the village and said villagers had alleged that the policemen who had attacked the agitators had also sexually assaulted a number of women.
An FIR was later lodged in this connection following a Noida court order.