Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni’s son Ashish Mishra, accused of crushing farmers under his vehicle at Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh on October 3, was arrested on late Saturday night, after 12 hours of questioning.
According to Upendra Kumar, chief of Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the Uttar Pradesh government to probe the incident that claimed eight lives, Ashish has been sent to judicial custody for the time being. He will be produced before a court tomorrow, which will decide whether he should be sent to police remand for questioning.
Mr Kumar said Ashish was arrested for non-cooperation with SIT. Police said they had prepared a number of questions for Ashish, but his answers were not satisfactory. The unconfirmed reports of Ashish’s arrest had started doing rounds in evening on Saturday, but the confirmation came only in night.
The SIT chief said Ashish could not inform or validate points regarding his whereabouts at the time and day of the incident. He further said now that Ashish is in police remand, police will try to get more information on this.
Earlier, police pasted a notice outside the residence of MoS Ajay Mishra, asking his son to appear before the investigation commitee. His father said Ashish did not appear on Friday due to health reasons.
Police has filed a case of murder against Mishra for running over the farmers, who were protesting against the three farm laws passed by Parliament last year.
A case of murder has been filed against Mishra. Ashish earlier accepted the fact that the SUV which crushed farmers under its wheels was owned by him, but denied that he was behind the driving seat.
Ashish was issued notice under Section 160 CrPC, related to the attendance of witnesses. His father and Union Minister Ajay Mishra had said that his son would visit Lakhimpur Kheri police station today. He said his son could not answer the summons yesterday due to poor health. Security was tightened in the area ahead of Mishra’s visit.
Ashish has been named in an FIR filed by the farmers who demanded strict action against him. The FIR said he was driving the car, which was among the three SUVs that led to the incident, killing eight people and leaving many injured.
Two accused – Luv Kush and Ashish Pandey – were arrested on Thursday as the case reached the Supreme Court. They were reportedly in the same vehicle that ran over a journalist and farmers, police said.
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