Lakhimpur Kheri/Lucknow: Four days after eight people, including four farmers and a journalist, died in the Lakhimpur Kheri after being run over by a convoy of cars, including one owned by Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra, Uttar Pradesh police arrested the two accused and issued the summon to the Union Minister’s son Ashish Mishra for questioning.
Ashish Mishra will be questioned in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence on Friday, Lucknow Range IG Laxmi Singh told reporters on Thursday.
Ashish has been asked to appear before the police at 1000 hrs at the crime branch on Friday and the summons were pasted outside his residence in Shahpur Kothi area.
The summon was issued under section 160 of the CrPC.
Sources said that the cops, who concentrated on stopping Opposition Leaders from reaching the spot, finally forced to act only after the Supreme Court on Thursday directed the state government to submit ‘Status Report’ on Friday about the investigation made so far and if any of the named accused arrested.
Interestingly, when the Apex Court listed the matter for hearing on Thursday morning, the State government on Wednesday night announced to form one-member judicial commission into the matter. The retired judge of high court Pradeep Kumar Srivastava has been asked to submit a report within two months.
The Adityanath government’s decision to appoint the single-person commission came three days after it had announced that a retired High Court judge will investigate the violence.
Sources from Lakhimpur confirmed that the cops in order to show some visible ‘investigation’ in the Status Report to be submitted on Friday had arrested two persons identified as Luvkush Rana and Ashish Pandey. Police said the two arrested are close aides of Ashish Mishra and more raids are going on to arrest the prime accused. Half a dozen other suspects have been also detained for interrogation in the matter, disclosed a senior officer.
Meanwhile, according to reports Union Minister of state Ajay Mishra Teni’s son Ashish Mishra remained untraceable on Thursday. The cops claimed to have launched a hunt for him and had also served a summon calling him to report at the local police station but so far their efforts went in vain.
Besides Ashish, another high profile accused, Ankit Das, whose name propped up in one of the videos and who was allegedly present in his SUV, behind the Thar jeep of Ashish Mishra, also went scot free so far. Ankit is nephew of former BSP MP Akhilesh Das and SUV (burnt by the mob later) also went crushing the farmers after the Thar Jeep hit the farmers. Sources said that Ankit is very close to union minister Ajay Mishra and was often seen with minister’s son Ashish.
It may be mentioned that the Lakhimpur Kheri violence has triggered a major political storm as the main accused Ashish Mishra, who has been named in police FIR, is the son of the minister of state for home Ajay Mishra Teni. The police have booked Ashish Mishra on multiple charges, including murder and criminal conspiracy.
As the opposition leaders are raising demand for the removal of Ajay Mishra, the minister of state on Wednesday met Union Home minister Amit Shah in New Delhi. Ajay Mishra has been claiming that his son was not there in the car which ran over the protesters. He claimed the driver lost the balance after being attacked by stone pelters and then some protesters came under the car.
Later, his driver was lynched and the car was set on fire, the minister had claimed.