This is the first time the police has asked to question Ashish Mishra — the son of junior home minister Ajay Mishra. An FIR against him was filed on Monday. The police pasted a notice outside the Union Minister’s home, summoning his son for questioning at 10 am on Friday. The inaction so far had set off opposition allegations that the police are shielding the high-profile accused.
The two arrested men have been identified as Luv Kush and Ashish Pandey. The two were in the same vehicle that ran over a journalist and farmers, the police said. Two gun cartridges have been recovered from them. An eight-member UP Police team will investigate the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
“Summons have been issued to Ashish Mishra and he has been asked to come for questioning soon as possible and more action against him will follow,” Lakshmi Singh, the Inspector General of Lucknow Zone, told NDTV. The move came as the Supreme Court asked UP about arrests and action taken in the case.
“We are not shielding anyone. The law of the land is equal for all. We will ensure that strict action is taken,” Lakshmi Singh said. The police have registered a case against 13 people. Two people were questioned today in the case.
The Supreme Court, which is hearing a petition regarding the events at Lakhimpur Kheri, today questioned “how many people have been arrested” and asked the state government to submit a status report by tomorrow.
“We need to know whom you registered an FIR against and how many have you arrested,” said the bench led by Chief Justice NV Ramana. The status report also has to include details of the eight persons killed.
Four farmers were run over on Sunday when an SUV belonging to the minister’s family ploughed into a group of protesters at top speed. Multiple unverified videos of the moment have been widely circulated. In the violence and arson that followed, four others — a journalist, two BJP workers and a driver — were killed.
Two cartridges were recovered from the spot where the farmers and journalist were killed. The farmers alleged that Ashish Mishra had fired a gun. But the police, citing the postmortem reports, said no gunshot injury was detected.
Both Ajay Mishra and his son have denied that they were present at the spot, though the minister told NDTV that the SUV belonged to his family. Amid opposition demands that he step down, Ajay Mishra met his boss, Union Home Minister Amit Shah yesterday. Government sources have ruled out the possibility of any resignation.