Facing heavy criticism over the alleged involvement of his jailed son Ashish in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra, today lost his temper at journalists asking for his response to the addition of attempt to murder charges against him and other accused in the case.
“Don’t ask these stupid questions. Dimag kharaab hai kya be (Are you mad?),” the minister can be heard saying as he yells at the reporter who asked him about SIT’s submission before a magistrate court that recommended slapping more severe charges against his son.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) has submitted before a court that the killing of the four farmers and a journalist in Lakhimpur Kheri, in which Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish is among the 13 accused, was a “pre-planned conspiracy” and also sought to substitute lesser charges in the case with graver ones.
After hearing the arguments on the application moved by the SIT, Lakhimpur Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Chinta Ram on Tuesday allowed it to add Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 326 (voluntarily causing injuries by dangerous weapons) in the FIR in which Ashish Mishra is the main accused. The relevant charges under the Arms Act were also allowed to be added.
Apart from some expletives and calling the journalists “chor” (thieves), Mishra says: “Mic band karo be (shut the mic)”. The incident took place when the minister was inaugurating an oxygen plant in Lakhimpur Kheri, a day after visiting his son in jail.
Meanwhile, following the SIT’s submission of a “pre-planned conspiracy”, the Congress-led Opposition renewed its demand for the resignation of Mishra in both Houses of the Parliament today. Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said the government will have to sack the minister in order to provide justice to the victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
The Congress also tweeted the video of the incident where Mishra was seen using derogatory language against the journalist and demanded Mishra’s resignation.
The violence in Tikunia in Lakhimpur Kheri district on October 3 that set off a political storm ahead of the 2022 Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, among other states, left a total of eight people, including two BJP workers, dead and two separate FIRs were filed in connection with the incident.
The violence erupted when a group of farmers was protesting against the visit of Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya to Ajay Mishra’s native place.