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Police custody of minister’s son for 3 days in farmer’s murder case

Eight people died in the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh.

Highlight

  • Union Minister’s son Ashish Mishra was today sent to 3-day police custody
  • Ashish Mishra was arrested on Saturday after 12 hours of interrogation
  • He allegedly gave a evasive reply about the Lakhimpur Kheri violence

Lucknow:

Union minister’s son Ashish Mishra was sent to police custody for three days on Monday for allegedly crushing farmers in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri, the violence that claimed eight lives earlier this month.

Union Minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra was arrested on Saturday after questioning for more than 12 hours at Lakhimpur Kheri. Police said he was giving “abusive answers” and was not cooperating.

His arrest came five days after he was named in a murder case. The charges against him usually warrant immediate arrest and questions have been raised as to whether he was given VIP treatment because of his father.

According to top sources in the Uttar Pradesh Police, the minister’s son was unable to clear several points about his whereabouts during the October 3 incident. They were yet to receive answers to questions about the discovery of two empty cartridges at the scene. Opposed the claims of farmers being shot by Mr Mishra’s men, who say there was no firing.

Eyewitnesses have said he was missing from what he said was between 2 and 4 p.m. – the time the incident took place, the location of his phone showed him close to the crime scene, and the driver of the SUV The farmers had been hit did not match the description made by them.

A senior UP police officer, who waited for three hours for Ashish Mishra to arrive on Friday, interrogated him till late in the night, a day after he was brought through the back door, which helped him avoid the media rush. In another suspicious move, the UP Police had issued notice to Ashish Mishra under a section of the law that deals with the presence of witnesses – not accused.

A day after the arrest, the Supreme Court reminded the Uttar Pradesh government that the law must take its course against “whoever is involved” amid nationwide outrage over the incident and mounting pressure from farmer groups.

Ashish Mishra has been named in an FIR filed by farmers, who said he had gone to a gathering of protesters raising slogans amid a peaceful black flag protest last Sunday. Eight people, including four farmers and four members of the convoy, died in the incident and the violence that ensued.

Though the Union minister’s son admitted that the SUV that ran over the farmers belonged to him, he maintained that he was not in it. His team said he had made about 150 pictures to show that he was not in the car that had crushed the farmers.

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