Naveen Bharat Editorial
Lucknow: The main accused in the Lakhimpur violence case, Ashish Mishra, and the son of Minister of State Ajay Mishra Teni were arrested by the UP Police after 12 hours of interrogation. Sent to 14 days judicial custody At midnight last Saturday, he reiterated the long-standing stance taken by himself and his father that he was not present at the scene.
Police officials, however, claimed that they had evidence to show his presence at the spot. Theni’s younger son Ashish, 35, is accused of ramming four farmers under his SUV Thar Mahindra to protest the visit of UP Deputy CM Keshav Maurya in Lakhimpur Kheri last Sunday.
DIG Upendra Agarwal, who is heading the six-member SIT probing the case, had claimed that Ashish was arrested as he was “non-cooperative and evasive in his answers” during interrogation.
Ashish will be produced before a local court on Monday when the SIT will seek his police remand for custodial interrogation to get to the bottom of the reasons that led to the violence that claimed a total of eight lives that day. Went. According to the information, the SIT was prepared with about 45-48 questions to interrogate Ashish, who was lodged in Barrack No. 21 of Lakhimpur Kheri District Jail.
Ashish, named in the FIR in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, has been booked under sections 302, 304-A, 120-B, 147, 279 and 338 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) along with 15-20 unidentified persons. Murder, criminal conspiracy, riot, etc.
The sources claimed that the basic question on which Ashish Mishra failed to provide evidence was related to his whereabouts between 2:36 pm and 3:30 pm (time of the incident) on October 3.
Ashish kept on repeatedly saying that he was attending ‘Dangal’ in his native village Banbirpur during that time. He also submitted over a dozen videos and affidavits of 10 people to substantiate his claim but failed to impress the SIT.
During the interrogation, other questions asked by Ashish were related to the number of vehicles in the fleet, firearms and reasons for being underground, etc.
Asked how many vehicles he had in his fleet, an eyewitness claimed that he was in a vehicle at the scene of the violence. To this Ashish gave the same confused answer which he did not know as he was in ‘Dangal’.
When asked how many people were sitting in his vehicle, which ran over the protesters, Ashish said that driver Hariom was in the driver’s seat. Ashish reportedly replied, “The rest, I don’t know because I was in a riot.”
When asked as to whose vehicle he was in, Ashish reportedly got irritated saying that his answer to every such question would be the same that he was not present in any vehicle but Thar. Mahindra belonged to him.
Then the SIT deferred the same question and asked him in which seat he was sitting in the car and who was the driver. To this Ashish said that he did not know as it was not a vehicle.
Asked about the amount of crowd at the site of violence, Ashish reportedly said that if he would be asked the question a thousand times, his answer would be the same which he did not know as he was not present at the spot. “I came to know about the incident later,” he reportedly said.
When asked why he didn’t stop the vehicle when he was passing through the crowd and the first person collided with the vehicle, Ashish said that since he was not present in the vehicle, he could not answer it. He said that I do not know under what circumstances the driver did not stop the SUV.
His non-cooperation came to the fore when he was questioned about the licensed weapons that he had with him and others were also with him. For this, Ashish allegedly remained non-committed.
Even after lengthy interrogation, Ashish Mishra could not prove from where the police found the cartridges from his vehicle.
When the SIT talked about videos proving his on-the-spot presence on social media, Ashish dismissed them saying that apart from the videos he had, all others were fake. “I was not present at the scene,” he reportedly said.
When the SIT confronted him on the veracity of the videos made by him, Ashish replied that the authorities should get forensic tests done as they were all genuine.
On the question of remaining elusive even after the FIR and the first police summon, Ashish said that he is in Delhi and is talking to media channels. He said that he did not get the information about the first summons on time and he was not well. He claimed that as soon as he came to know about the second summons, he appeared before the SIT.
When the interrogators asked him why he should be trusted as he did not cooperate adequately in answering their questions, Ashish said that as soon as he came to know about the summons notice, he appeared before the interrogators. “I will cooperate with the investigation if needed. I am not a criminal. I am the son of a political leader and I run my own business,” he reportedly said.
However, the UP Police has so far arrested three people including Ashish Mishra in connection with the Lakhimpur violence. The search is on for Ashish’s close-knit Ankit Das and Sumit Jaiswal, among others.
The Fortuner, another SUV that is said to be part of the killer fleet of vehicles, is owned by Ankit. However, Sumit Jaiswal, a local, is the person who did the cross FIR against the farmers for the murder of a driver and two BJP workers.