Navjot Sidhu ended his short-lived hunger strike on Saturday morning, soon after Union Minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra. Appeared for questioning at Lakhimpur Kheri crime branch office Eight people, including four farmers, were killed in this week’s violence.
NS The Congress leader began his ‘indefinite fast’ on Friday Demanding the arrest of Ashish Mishra Sources said that Sidhu also met the families of those killed.a vow of silence‘ (quietly sharply).
“What happened (was) a barbaric crime. India is seeking justice… there is evidence, there is video evidence… FIR has name… witness eats. But arrest is not happening because he (Ashish Mishra) Son of a Union Minister,” Sidhu said yesterday.
Ashish Mishra is a murder accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence and deaths, and was named as such in the UP Police FIR. However, almost a week after the incident, he is still free.
He was earlier called for questioning yesterday but he dropped the summons; His father, junior Union Home Minister Ajay Mishra, who oversees law and order issues for the country, later cited poor health.
After being summoned under Section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), he finally arrived for questioning today surrounded by a police escort, which is generally used for witnesses.
Legal experts have questioned why the summons under Section 41 (for those accused) were not served.
Police sources countered saying that arrest can also be made under section 160.
The summons itself followed critical comments from the Supreme Court asking the police whether they would treat Ashish Mishra differently, had he not been the Union minister’s son.
“What message are you (UP Govt) giving. Wouldn’t the police immediately go and arrest the accused even under normal circumstances?” asked Chief Justice NV Ramana.
The court also refused a CBI inquiry at this stage (as demanded by a PIL), observing that “CBI is not a solution… because of individuals (involved)“.
On Tuesday, a top police official told NB that the delay in arresting or interrogating Ashish Mishra was because the force is “busy in talks… postmortem… cremation”.
Eight people, including four farmers, a journalist and a BJP worker, were killed on Sunday in a convoy of vehicles, including an SUV owned by Ajay Mishra, that rammed into a group of farmers.
The farmers allege that Ashish Mishra was riding in a car.
Both Ashish and his father have denied all the allegations. Mr Mishra admitted to NB that the car belonged to his family, but added that neither he nor his son was in it at the time of the incident.