Minister’s Murder-Accused Son Skips Summons, Keeps Top UP Cop Waiting

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Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh:

Ashish, son of Union Minister Ajay Mishra, who is accused of eight deaths in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh, waited for a senior policeman this morning as he avoided police interrogation despite nationwide outrage over the case. This is the first time Ashish Mishra has been summoned for questioning amid demands for the arrest of opposition leaders – the violence that erupted in Lakhimpur on Sunday has become a major political issue ahead of next year’s state elections.

Eight people, including four farmers, were killed when a group of protesters marched against the visit of junior home minister Ajay Mishra and UP deputy chief minister Keshab Prasad Maurya.

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Ajay Mishra was asked to appear for questioning at 10 a.m., but was waiting for top police officer Upendra Agarwal – who is leading an eight-member investigation team, officials said. His name was in an FIR filed by farmers demanding strict action against him.

FIR Ajay Mishra said the protesters entered the farmers ’rally amid peaceful black flag protests. “The incident took place around noon, when Ashish Mishra with his three vehicles and 15-20 armed men marched towards the Banwaripur meeting place … Ashish shot at the crowd sitting on the left side of his Thar Mahindra. Gurwinder, the 22-year-old son of farmer Sukhwinder Singh, died, ”the FIR reads.

Police on Thursday issued a notice outside the Union Minister’s residence and summoned his son. Former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Bhadra and Rahul Gandhi have accused others that the police are protecting high-ranking accused.

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As the case reached the Supreme Court, two persons named Luv Kush and Ashish Pandey were arrested on Thursday.

The two were in the same vehicle that a journalist and farmers fled over, police said, adding that an eight-member team was investigating the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

“Ashish Mishra has been summoned and asked to come for questioning as soon as possible and further action will be taken against him,” Lucknow Zone Inspector General Lakshmi Singh told NDTV on Thursday.

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Lakshmi Singh said, “We are not protecting anyone. The law of the land is the same for everyone. We will ensure that strict action is taken.” There are thirteen names in the case.

The Supreme Court, which is hearing an appeal on the Lakhimpur Kheri incidents, on Thursday questioned “how many people have been arrested” and asked the state government to submit a status report by Friday.

Although Ajay Mishra and his son have denied being present at the scene, demands have been made for the resignation of the Union Minister. The minister told NDTV earlier this week that the SUV belonged to his family. Sources said after his meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah, his resignation has been canceled.

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