Minister of State Ajay Mishra denied any pressure to resign from the post after meeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah amid opposition calls for his sacking over the incident of Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which at least eight people, including four farmers, died during a protest after Mishra's son allegedly ran over the protesting farmers.
"Why would I [resign]? There is no pressure on us, We will investigate this, and those involved, who conspired, will take action against them," he said while speaking to NDTV.
After the incident, the UP police has filed an FIR against the alleged killing of the farmers but no arrests have been made so far. Although there are many witnesses to the incident, the minister and his son both deny that they were present in the car and that his son was driving when the whole incident took place on Sunday in UP's Lakhimpur Kheri.
The video of the incident was shared on social media websites by many including BJP MP Varun Gandhi showing the SUV belonging to Ajay Mishra crushing a group of protesting farmers at the site. The video, however, is yet to be verified by the police.
"From Day One, we have been clear that the [Mahindra] Thar is ours, which is registered in our name. And the vehicle was going to receive someone after picking up our workers. My son was at another venue. From 11 am till the evening, he was organizing another event. My son was present there, there were thousands there. There are photos and videos. If you take out his call records, location... can check all. Thousands of people are willing to give an affidavit also that Ashish Mishra was there," Ajay Mishra told NDTV.
"As far as the vehicle is concerned, I was clear that my driver was killed, two workers were killed. One worker escaped, three workers are injured, and after that, the car stopped there. After that, the car was pushed and the vehicle and another Fortuner were burnt. Such people can't be farmers. These are extremists hidden amongst farmers," he said.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi was not allowed to meet the families of farmers killed in the incident and rather she was kept in detention by the Yogi Adityanath government at the PAC compound in Sitapur. Meanwhile, Chattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel was also not allowed to leave Lucknow airport to visit the site and meet the families of the victims.
Notably, the state government has now permitted Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and three other people to visit the site.
(with inputs from NDTV)
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