Ashish Mishra, the son of Union minister of state for home affairs Ajay Mishra Teni and the prime accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, was arrested late on Saturday as he was not cooperating during the interrogation, said DIG Upendra Agarwal, Saharanpur. "He didn't answer few questions. He will be produced before the court," the DIG added.
Ashish Mishra's arrest comes after over 11 hours of questioning in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which eight people including four farmers dead on Sunday, October 3.
Mishra appeared before the special investigation team (SIT) in the crime branch office of the police line at around 10.30 AM where he was questioned regarding the FIR registered against him and others under murder charges.
After quizzing him for more than 11 hours, the nine-member SIT headed by Deputy Inspector General of Police Agarwal, arrested Mishra. The development came a day after the Supreme Court had expressed its dissatisfaction over the action taken against the accused in the Lakhimpur incident that had drawn massive outrage.
According to the police officials at Lakhimpur, Ashish Mishra carried several pen drives and videos to prove that he was not present at the crime spot and instead present at a function nearby. However, he could not provide exact information about his presence between 2.30 pm to 3.30 pm on October 4 when the incident occurred. Mishra was quizzed in front of two of his legal aides and a magistrate. The magistrate was specially called to record the statements of prime suspect in the case. Two of the accomplices of Ashish were arrested on Thursday.
A large number of supporters of the minister gathered at the residence and BJP office in Lakhimpur and shouted slogans in favour of the accused. The minister Ajay Mishra once again said that his son was innocent and not present at all when the incident took place. Sensing trouble, the district administration made elaborate security arrangements at all these places in Lakhimpur. In the evening, the security forces took out a flag march in the city and internet services in the area have been disconnected again. The SIT members asked 32 questions from Ashish Mishra and examined the videos produced by him.
Meanwhile, the joint front of farmers has demanded that union minister should be dismissed and be arrested on the charges of spreading disharmony, murder and conspiracy. The farmers have announced to hold a Rail Roko protest on October 18 and a grand panchayat in Lucknow on October 28 regarding Lakhimpur incident. Their leader Rakesh Tikait has announced to burn effigies of PM and Home Minister on the day of Dussehra in protest against the killing of farmers.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)