‘There is evidence to prove innocence’: Union minister, son deny role in Lakhimpur violence

Naveen Bharat Editorial

LUCKNOW: Junior Union Home Minister Ajay Mishra on Monday denied all charges against his son Ashish, who is accused of thrashing four framers at Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday.

Five more people, including three from the BJP, a driver and a freelance journalist, were killed in the violence.

Both the minister and his son said there was evidence to prove their innocence.

Talking to reporters, the minister expressed his condolences to the farmers who lost their lives in the violence. He demanded Rs 50 lakh as compensation for the families of BJP workers who lost their lives in the violence. The minister said that a case should be registered against those who lynched BJP workers. He also claimed that his driver had died inside the vehicle when his vehicle was hit by stones pelted by a protesting farmer.

“Three of our workers and a driver were killed. Our cars were set on fire in Lakhimpur Kheri. We are going to file an FIR. We have video clips to prove our point. A case under section 302 of IPC is to be registered against those who indulge in unintentional violence,” the minister said.

Demanding a CBI probe into the incident or an STF probe under the supervision of a retired or sitting High Court judge, Mishra claimed that BJP workers were attacked with sticks and swords. “Videos are viral on social media in which our workers are being forced to say that I asked them to cut farmers. The allegations against my son are also baseless. Had he been there, he too would have been killed by the violent mob,” said Mishra.

Read also | Lakhimpur violence: FIR against Minister of State Ajay Mishra’s son, several others

Union minister’s son Ashish Mishra denied allegations that he was part of the convoy that allegedly crushed farmers, which led to the death of nine people in Lakhimpur on Sunday.

“The event that was happening was ancestral. It has been going on for almost 35 years… We have a tradition that when we have guests, we send two-three vehicles to receive them… Mahindra Thar was my vehicle, one of our employees had a Toyota Fortuner and a small car,” he said while talking to media persons.

“I was not in the car. I was at my ancestral home in Banbirpur village where the wrestling match was being organized. I was there from morning till the end of the program,” he said.

“It is not true that the Fortuner crushed the farmers. The truth is that our worker had gone to pick up the honorable Deputy Chief Minister. The Thar SUV in front was attacked with sticks and stones. The driver Hariom was injured or may have been that he may have died.In that attack the car lost its balance and overturned.

In this way these two people, who are being called farmers, must have been injured.”

“People who do such work cannot be called farmers. The farmers of India are not so heartless and cruel. The fault lies with those who are leading the farmers’ organization. It is a right to wave the flag. But calmly,” he said.

The farmers alleged that a murder case has been registered against Ashish Mishra, who was driving one of the three vehicles that crushed the protesters, leading to the violence. The protesters were trying to stop the visit of his Union Minister father and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya.

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