Naveen Bharat Editorial
Lucknow: Ashish Mishra, the main accused in the Lakhimpur violence case and son of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra ‘Theni’, was arrested late night by the District Police after an 11-hour-long interrogation by the Special Investigation Team. Crime Branch SIT headed by DIG Upendra Agarwal in Lakhimpur on Saturday.
Confirming the arrest, senior police officials, who are part of the SIT, said that Ashish was taken into custody as he was not cooperating with the investigation and was not able to answer several questions satisfactorily.
Further, the sources claimed that after interrogation, the SIT recommended the district police to add some more sections of the IPC in the FIR registered against Ashish Mishra, as they were from their side of the story about the violence that took place in Terai district. were not confident enough. last Sunday.
As the interrogation of Ashish Mishra by the six-member SIT at the Lakhimpur crime branch office continued till late Saturday evening, he allegedly provided videos and affidavits of 10 people to the police officials to prove that he was not inside the vehicle which he was in. was mortgaged. A group of farmers protesting at Lakhimpur Kheri last week.
Police sources, however, said the evidence was pointing to his presence at the site of the violence on Sunday. Further, it was also claimed that Ashish Mishra himself was driving a Thar Mahindra SUV, which ran over a group of protesting farmers.
Police sources also confirmed that Ashish could not produce satisfactory evidence to show that he was not in the vehicle.
Ashish Mishra appeared before the Special Investigation Team of the Crime Branch constituted by the Uttar Pradesh Police to probe the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case on Saturday at around 10:40 am.
His questioning began after the SIT prepared a list of 40 questions to question Ashish on the violence that claimed the lives of eight people, including four farmers.
Sources said that during interrogation, Ashish reiterated claiming his innocence that he was not present at Tikunia, the site of the incident. He reportedly insisted that he was in a ‘dangal’ (wrestling competition) to be held in Banbirpur village, about 3-4 km from Tikunia, when the violence broke out.
However, informed sources claimed that Ashish could not explain his whereabouts to the investigating team at the time of the incident.
So far, the Lakhimpur police have arrested two people – Lavkush and Ashish Pandey, who are said to be close associates of Ashish Mishra – in connection with the violence.
Ashish Mishra has been made the main accused in the FIR lodged by the farmers in connection with the violence on Sunday. He has been booked along with 15-20 unidentified people under sections related to murder, criminal conspiracy, rioting etc.
There was a huge crowd of local BJP workers at the Lakhimpur Police Crime Branch office. They were raising slogans in support of Ashish Mishra that he is innocent and he is being framed in the case of violence.
Ashish Mishra appeared before police officials on Friday in response to the second summon notice pasted by the police at his residence, asking him to appear in connection with the death of eight people. In fact, Ashish was served a notice under Section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and was asked to appear in person and produce evidence that he was aware of the incident.
Ashish was accompanied by his lawyer Awadhesh Singh and Lakhimpur Sadar MLA Yogesh Verma of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Mishra was taken to a room inside the crime branch office where policemen probing the case began questioning him. His lawyer was with him during the interrogation.
Ashish Mishra failed to appear in reply to Thursday’s first summons notice and missed the 10 a.m. deadline for his appearance on Friday.
Meanwhile, farmers’ unions have increased the pressure for the arrest of Ashish Mishra, who issued a protest calendar in October for not arresting Ashish in the violence case. They are also demanding the resignation of Union Minister Ajay Mishra.
Interacting with media persons on Saturday, Rakesh Tikait, spokesperson of Bharatiya Kisan Union said that no case should be registered against farmers in connection with the killing of three BJP workers in Lakhimpur Kheri violence as the lynching was only a “reaction to action”. “.