Lakhimpur Kheri Violence: ‘My son wasn’t there in the SUV, Khalistani elements were present there,’ says Ajay Mishra;

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Updated: October 06, 2021 9:21 AM

According to the FIR lodged on a complaint of Jagjit Singh, a native of Bahraich district, the episode was "premeditated" for which the "conspiracy was hatched" by the minister and his son.

According to the FIR lodged on a complaint of Jagjit Singh, a native of Bahraich district, the episode was "premeditated" for which the "conspiracy was hatched" by the minister and his son.

Union Minister of State (Home) Ajay Mishra on Wednesday said his son Ashish Mishra alias Monu was not sitting in the car hat mowed down protesting farmers in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district. He also demanded an impartial probe into the incident that claimed eight lives, including four farmers.

“My son wasn’t there in the car. After the car was attacked, driver was injured, car lost its balance and ran over a few people present there. I’ve expressed sympathies towards those who’ve lost their lives. There should be an unbiased probe,” Mishra said.

He also refuted the allegations of delivering a hate speech against the protesting farmers. “The entire audio is not being played. I have never said any ill words against the farmers.”

Mishra also alleged that some miscreants were present among farmers who led to the incident. “Only a portion of audio from my address to farmers at an event being played in the media. Some miscreants present among farmers behind the incident. At the place where this incident happened some Khalistani elements were present there, Bhindranwale posters were also put up,” he said.

On Tuesday, Mishra said that his son was ready to depose before any investigating agency. “An FIR has been registered. In our country, there is a rule of law and everyone has a right to file a complaint. During the evidence collection, everything will become clear. Investigators can check our call detail record, mobile location etc. It will become crystal clear that my son was not at the spot when the incident happened,” he said.

The FIR lodged by the UP Police states that Ashish was driving the SUV that mowed down the farmers. According to the FIR lodged on a complaint of Jagjit Singh, a native of Bahraich district, the episode was “premeditated” for which the “conspiracy was hatched” by the minister and his son.

It also alleged that “provocative” statements of the Union minister of state for home had led to the farmers’ protest here during which violence erupted and claimed the lives of eight people.

The FIR stated that the farmers had gathered at the sports ground of the Maharaja Agrasen Inter-College on Sunday and they wanted to peacefully show black flags to Mishra and Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, who was visiting Banbirpur.

“Around 3 pm, Ashish Mishra along with 15-20 armed men in three speeding four-wheelers reached the protest spot in Banbirpur. Monu Mishra opened gunfire while he was seated on the left side of his Mahindra Thar, which mowed down the crowd and sped ahead,” stated the FIR seen by PTI.

“Because of the firing, farmer Gurvinder Singh, son of Sukhwinder, resident of Matronia in Nanpara, died. The numbers of the speeding vehicles which cruelly crushed the farmers standing on both sides of the roads are UP 31 AS 1000 and UP 32 KM 0036, while the third vehicle (whose number is not confirmed) was a Mahindra Scorpio,” it added.

The report further stated, “Ashish’s speeding vehicle overturned on the side of the road, leading to injuries to several other people. Ashish Mishra escaped from the car, opened fire and hid in a sugarcane field.”

While Ashish Mishra and 15-20 unnamed persons were mentioned as accused and charged with murder, criminal conspiracy, rash driving, rioting, among others, his father was not named in the FIR.

The minister has refuted the allegations of his son’s involvement in the episode that took place near his native Banbirpur village in the Tikonia area of the district.

Four farmers were killed after they were allegedly mowed down by SUVs during the protest, with Ashish Mishra riding in the vehicle that led his convoy on Sunday. Four other people, including BJP workers, were later lynched by a mob. No arrest has been made in the case so far. The deceased farmers have been identified as Gurvinder Singh (22), Daljit Singh (35), Nakshatra Singh and Lovepreet Singh (age of both not mentioned), it stated, adding some other farmers were left injured.

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