The police said they have sought 14-day police custody of Shekhar Bharti and the hearing in this regard will take place on Wednesday. He was sent to 14-day judicial custody.
The Uttar Pradesh SIT, probing the killing of eight people in Lakhimpur Kheri, on Tuesday arrested the driver of one of the SUVs that was part of the convoy which ran over a group of protesting farmers on October 3. Meanwhile, two people moved applications for surrender at the CJM court.
Senior prosecution officer SP Yadav said they have sought 14-day police custody of Shekhar Bharti and the hearing in this regard will take place on Wednesday. He was sent to 14-day judicial custody.
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Bharti was behind the wheel of one of three vehicles involved in the incident, police said. They said it was owned by Ankit Das, a close aide of Ashish Mishra, Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son, and nephew of former Rajya Sabha MP and UPA minister Akhilesh Das, police said.
According to a report, Shekhar was driving a black Fortuner, which was behind the car that knocked down four farmers. However, police did not confirm anything about Shekhar.
On Tuesday, the SIT also took custody of Ashish Mishra, who is lodged in Lakhimpur Kheri jail. A local court had on Monday sent Ashish on three-day police custody.
With Bharti’s arrest, police so far have arrested four people. Earlier, they had arrested Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra, Luvkush and Ashish Pandey in connection with the violence, which claimed eight lives.
In another development, two people–Ankit Das and Latif– moved an application for surrender at the court of the chief judicial magistrate. Ankit Das is stated to be a friend of Ashish and is nephew of the former minister late Akhilesh Das. The Fortuner is said to be owned by him. Nothing is know about Latif.
When asked who they are, Yadav said the prosecution has sought a report from the police station regarding their status in connection with the Tikonia violence FIR. Police will be telling about them and their involvement in their report, he added.
Eight people died in the October 3 violence and of them four were farmers, allegedly knocked down by a vehicle carrying BJP workers. Infuriated farmers then allegedly lynched some people in the vehicles. The other dead included two BJP workers and their driver. A local scribe had also died in the incident.
Farmers claimed that Union Minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra was in one of the vehicles, an allegation denied by him and his father. Ashish Mishra was arrested after 12 hours of questioning late on Saturday night.