India / Ashish Mishra couldn't validate his whereabouts in Lakhimpur incident: Police

Zoom News : Oct 10, 2021, 05:30 PM
Lucknow: After nearly 12 hours of marathon questioning, the Lakhimpur police on Saturday arrested Union minister Ajay Mishra Teni’s son Ashish Mishra at the crime branch office, police officials privy to the investigation said.

Deputy inspector general, state police headquarters, Upendra Agarwal confirmed the arrest.

“He was arrested after he failed to cooperate in the interrogation. He could not inform or validate on various points regarding his whereabouts at the time of the incident. We will try to get information from him after getting him on police remand,” Agarwal said.

The officials said Ashish was questioned about his location and involvement in the incident that resulted in the death of eight people, including four farmers, on October 3.

A police official said the nine-member investigation committee headed by deputy inspector general (DIG), state police headquarters, Upendra Agarwal, along with senior committee member Sunil Kumar Singh, commandant of 10th battalion PAC, questioned Ashish Mishra.

He said the committee had prepared 40 questions to be asked. Ashish presented multiple affidavits through his lawyer Awadhesh Singh, who accompanied him, he said, adding Ashish had not clarified about his location at the time of the incident.

He elaborated Ashish Mishra’s mobile phone was seized and video recording of the entire process was done by the investigation committee, which started questioning Ashish soon after he appeared before it at around 10.40 am. Lakhimpur Sadar MLA Yogesh Verma of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also accompanied Ashish to the crime branch office. However, he stayed out of the interrogation room.

Ashish Mishra appeared before the investigators after the second notice was pasted at his Lakhimpur residence on Friday, asking him to appear in connection with the violence in which eight people were killed, including four farmers. He had failed to show up in response to the first notice and missed his 10 am deadline on Friday.

The notice to Ashish Mishra was issued under Section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code and he was asked to appear and present evidence that he was aware of the incident.

Earlier on Thursday, UP police’s additional director general, law and order, Prashant Kumar had said the police identified six people as accused, three of them dead in the violence, the two accused who have been arrested and Ashish Mishra. Another accused was unidentified. The two accused Luv Kush and Ashish Pandey were arrested and sent to jail on Thursday.

The police also raided several places in search of former Union minister Akhilesh Das’s nephew Ankit Das in Lucknow and Lakhimpur Kheri after he was said to be accompanying Ashish Mishra in his SUV at the time of the incident. In videos of the incident shared on social media, Das’s black SUV was seen following the minister’s car that allegedly mowed down four farmers after which violence broke out. Ankit Das was not found but his driver has been taken into custody.