Breaking: Ashish Mishra, Union Minister’s son accused of running SUV over farmers arrested

LUCKNOW: Following a prolonged interrogation, Ashish Mishra, main accused of Lakhimpur violence case and son of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra ‘Teni’, has been arrested. The interrogation by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of crime branch, headed by DIG Upendra Agarwal, extended for over 8 hours in Lakhimpur on Saturday.

Sources claimed that the SIT recommended the district police to add some more sections of IPC in the FIR lodged against Ashish Mishra as they were not convinced enough with his side of the story about the violence which rocked the Terai district on last Sunday.

During the interrogation by the six-member SIT in the Lakhimpur crime branch office, Ashish Mishra reportedly provided videos and affidavits of 10 persons to the police authorities to prove that he was not inside the vehicle that ploughed into the group of protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri last week.

Ashish Misra appeared before the Special investigation team of crime branch set up by Uttar Pradesh Police to probe into Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, on Saturday at around 10:40 am.

His interrogation began soon after as the SIT had come prepared with a 40-question list to quiz Ashish over the violence which claimed eight lives including four farmers.

The sources said that during his questioning, Ashish claimed his innocence by reiterating that he was not present at Tikunia, the site of the incident. He reportedly insisted that he was at a ‘dangal’ (wrestling competition) taking place at Banbirpur village, some 3-4 km away from Tikunia, when the violence broke out.

However, the informed sources claimed that Ashish could not convince the probe team about his whereabouts at the time of incident.

So far, the Lakhimpur police have arrested two persons – Luvkush and Ashish Pandey—said to be the close aides of Ashish Mishra, in connection with the violence.

Ashish Mishra has been named as the main accused in the FIR lodged by the farmers in connection with the Sunday violence. He along with 15-20 unidentified persons has been booked under sections pertaining to murder, criminal conspiracy, rioting, etc. in the case.

There was a huge crowd of local BJP workers at the office of the Lakhimpur police crime branch. They were shouting slogans in support of Ashish Mishra claiming that he was innocent and was being framed in the violence case.

Meanwhile, the farmer unions have stepped up the pressure for the arrest of Ashish Mishra releasing a calendar of protest in October if Ashish is not arrested in the violence case. They are also demanding the resignation of the Union Minister Ajay Mishra.

While interacting with media persons on Saturday, Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesman Rakesh Tikait on Saturday said that no case should be registered against the farmers in connection with the killing of three BJP workers in Lakhimpur Kheri violence as the lynching was only a “reaction to the action”.

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