The Uttar Pradesh police on Monday got three-day custody of Ashish Mishra, the son of Union minister of state for home affairs Ajay Kumar Mishra ‘Teni’, for his alleged role in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
The court of chief judicial magistrate Chinta Ram allowed Uttar Pradesh the custody of Ashish Mishra between October 12 and October 15.
Senior prosecuting officer SP Yadav said that as per Supreme Court guidelines, no coercion or torture would take place and Ashish Mishra may have a lawyer of his choice during interrogation but the lawyer would watch the process from a distance so that no interference is caused.
The Uttar Pradesh police arrested Ashish Mishra on Saturday despite his attempts to evade the law enforcement agencies. He was then interrogated for nearly 12 hours following which a local court remanded him to judicial custody for 14 days.
However, the Uttar Pradesh police sought Ashish Mishra’s police custody and he was produced before the court earlier in the day. Two other accused, Luv Kush and Ashish Pandey, known to be close aides of Ashish Mishra, were arrested on Thursday.
The arrests followed hours after the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Uttar Pradesh government to submit a report within a day on how many arrests have been made so far in connection with the case.
Eight people, included four farmers and a local journalist, died during the violence after an SUV belonging to Ashish Mishra and a convoy of cars mowed down a group of protesting farmers from behind at Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella of farmers’ unions, alleged that one of the deceased farmers was shot dead by Ashish Mishra while the rest were allegedly run over by the vehicles of his convoy. The Union minister and his son, however, denied the claims.
Refuting the allegations levelled by the SKM, the minister said that his son was not present at the spot, and claimed that he had evidence to prove that Ashish was innocent. The Union minister also said that Ashish was “ready to face any investigation” from the agencies.
A 29-second video of the violence that surfaced on social media show an SUV ploughing through protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri. The SUV reportedly belonged to the convoy of Union minister of state Ajay Kumar Mishra who was travelling to receive Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya to an event in the area.
While four farmers died after the convoy mowed down protesters opposing the deputy chief minister’s visit, the other four people, reportedly BJP members and a local journalist, were allegedly thrashed to death.