Saturday, October 9, 2021

Lakhimpur Kheri violence: Union minister's son Ashish arrested after marathon grilling by SIT

In a major development in the Lakhimpur Kheri case, the Uttar Pradesh Police Crime Branch has arrested Union Minister Ajay Mishra's son Ashish in connection with the October 3 violence that claimed 8 lives.

Ashish was arrested after over 11 hours of questioning. 

There had been speculation in the evening that Ashish had been arrested. However, the official confirmation came late at night.

Deputy Inspector General Upendra Agarwal, who is heading the Special Investigation Team in the case, confirmed the arrest.

DIG Upendra said that Ashish was not cooperating with the SIT officials during the interrogation and failed to answer a few questions.

The Union minister could not come clean with regard to his whereabouts at the time when the jeep ran over protesting farmers, the officer said, adding that Ashish would be presented before the court and police custody will be sought.

According to reports, while the marathon grilling was underway, Union Minister Ajay Mishra was in touch with his legal team.

To recall, Ashish had gone underground after two of his aides were arrested. The police had pasted a summon on the door of the Union minister's residence, directing Ashish to appear before the investigation team on Friday. However, he skipped the summon citing his father's health. Later on Friday, the Supreme Court had rapped the Uttar Pradesh government for not pushing hard enough to act against the accused named in the FIR in the case.

Ashish had been named in the FIR as the main accused in the case. Four of the farmers were run over allegedly by the vehicle Ashish was in. Following the incident, violence erupted during which four others were killed.

Union Minister Ajay Mishra has denied that his son was anywhere near the incident spot on October 3. However, even though Ashish admitted that the jeep that mowed down the farmers belonged to him, he continues to maintain that he was not in it.

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from asianetnews

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