Ashish Mishra ‘Monu’, son of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra, was arrested late on October 9 after over 11 hours of questioning, for non-cooperation during interrogation in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence and farmers’ deaths case, a senior police officer said.
DIG in-charge of the probe Upendra Agrawal said Mr. Ashish Mishra did not co-operate during interrogation and was not willing to share certain things asked of him. “For non-cooperation and evasive reply, on these grounds we are taking him into custody and arresting him,” Mr. Agrawal said.
Mr. Ashish Mishra would be produced before court, said the officer, adding that police would do a sustained custodial interrogation of the accused.
The Minister’s son has been named as an accused in the murder case lodged by farmers after cars belonging to his father’s convoy ran over protesting farmers in Tikonia on October 3. Eight persons, including four farmers, were killed in the incident.
On October 9 morning, Mr. Ashish Mishra appeared for questioning at the Crime Branch office in Lakhimpur after the police issued him a second summon as he failed to turn up after the first one on October 8. Mr. Ashish Mishra was asked by police to appear before them at 11 a.m. The Uttar Pradesh Police on October 7 arrested two persons in connection with the case.
On October 8, Mr. Ashish Mishra's father Mr. Ajay Mishra, told reporters in Lucknow that Mr. Ashish Mishra did not go to the police as he was unwell and that he was lodged in their Shahpur Kothi residence.
Mr. Ajay Mishra maintained that his son was not at the site of the incident or in any of the cars that mowed down the farmers. Mr. Ashish Mishra was in their ancestral village Banveerpur attending the annual wrestling event organised by the family, said the Minister.
"My son would also have been killed had he been here," he said, adding that hundreds of spectators present at Banveerpur on the day of event were willing to submit their affidavits about Mr. Ashish Mishra's presence.
He said the allegations against his son were “fake”. Mr. Ajay Mishra said that the probe in the case was being done in an impartial manner as even though he was a Minister, an FIR had been lodged against his son.
Mr. Ajay Mishra said “riotous elements” masked as farmers had attacked the BJP workers during the incident.