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“I Wasn’t There, Neither Was My Son”: Union Minister On UP Violence

The farmers claimed that the violence broke out after a car rammed into the minister’s convoy on protesters. (file)

New Delhi:

Union Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra today asserted that neither he nor his son was present In Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh Yesterday, eight including four farmers were crushed to death during protests against his visit.

A murder case has been registered against Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra. The protesters allege that he was driving a car that crushed farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri.

The protesting farmers’ group had gathered to prevent Union Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya from visiting the area as they were upset with Mr. Mishra’s recent speech. Both the ministers were going to an event nearby.

Later, the Union Minister of State for Home, Mr. Mishra denied that his son had anything to do with these deaths. When asked to comment on a video that showed his son waving a gun at the protest site, he said the weapon “must be licensed”.

“If my son had a revolver, he would have a license. I was not there, nor was my son,” Mr. Mishra told reporters, “alleging violence”.Khalistani Hand”.

He also said that the Uttar Pradesh Police has neither questioned him nor his son. “We are not aware of any FIR. The people who filed the FIR know that neither me nor my son were at the site. We were three-four km away at an event. There were some miscreants who attacked the workers with sticks and swords. You have seen the way they were beating people. If I had a son, he would not have survived,” said Mr. Mishra.

“My son was present throughout the Deputy Chief Minister’s program and I was also with Maurya,” he said.

The minister’s defense came when farmers’ deaths turned into a major political struggle months before the UP elections.

Opposition leaders from Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to Akhilesh Yadav were stopped from visiting the area today. The Congress alleged that Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister SS Randhawa were stopped from landing at the Lucknow airport.

Congress said that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was arrested late night by the policemen who stopped her convoy in Sitapur on her way to Lakhimpur Kheri.

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