The arrests come soon after the Supreme Court directed the UP government to file a status report in the case including details on the accused named by the police in FIR and whether they have been arrested.
The Uttar Pradesh Police on Thursday made the first arrests in connection with the violence that took place in Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday. The police took two persons into custody who are currently being interrogated and said they have sending summon to Union MoS Home Ajay Mishra’s Ashish for questioning.
“Two people are being questioned. They’ve confirmed role of three others who are dead. Technically, they have also been accounted for. These people are giving a lot of information. We are sending summon to the main accused (Ashish Mishra) for questioning,” said Lucknow IG Lakshmi Singh.
News agency ANI quoted government sources saying the police recovered empty bullet shells from the violence site. However, Singh said that incidents of firing have not been confirmed.
“Incidents of firing or any firearm injuries have not been confirmed. Therefore, we will have to proceed with other evidence that have been given to us,” Singh said.
#WATCH मुख्य आरोपी को भी हम आज समन भेज रहे हैं। हम उनका बयान दर्ज़ करेंगे। उसके आधार पर आगे सबूत इकट्ठे कर रहे हैं: लखनऊ रेंज की आईजी लक्ष्मी सिंह, आशीष मिश्रा की गिरफ़्तारी के सवाल का जवाब देते हुए pic.twitter.com/uDT2CkJNzm
— ANI_HindiNews (@AHindinews) October 7, 2021
Meanwhile, News18 reported that the two persons arrested were Luv Kush and Ashish Pandey, who were part of the convoy of the BJP convoy, from which an SUV allegedly mowed down the protesting farmers.
The arrests come soon after the Supreme Court directed the UP government to file a status report in the case including details on the accused named by the police in FIR and whether they have been arrested. The apex court has also sought details of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) and the judicial enquiry commission, set up by the state government.
The incident, which triggered a major political storm with the opposition parties accusing the BJP government in UP of shielding the culprits, was heard by a bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana as a suo motu (on its own) case.
Four farmers were mowed down by an SUV in Lakhimpur Kheri when a group agitating against the Centre’s three new farm laws was holding a demonstration against the visit of UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya on October 3. Two BJP workers and a driver were beaten to death allegedly by the angry protesters, while a local journalist was also killed in the violence.
An FIR under section 302 of IPC (murder) has been registered against the Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra and others in the incident in Tikonia police station. Farmer leaders have claimed that Ashish was in one of the cars that allegedly knocked down the protesters but the minister has denied the allegations.
Meanwhile, a cleaner and long video of the incident emerged on Thursday which clearly shows one of the SUVs from the BJP convoy mowing down protesters. The video counters Ajay Mishra’s claim that the SUV was first attacked by the protesters due to which the driver lost the balance of the car, leading to the accident.