Express News Service

LUCKNOW:  With the UP Police claiming that Ashish, son of Union minister Ajay Mishra and the main accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, was non-cooperative and evasive during interrogation, the kid-glove treatment he got thus far appears to be off.

Ashish (35) was arrested after about 12 hours of interrogation and produced before a local court past Saturday midnight, which remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days. He is lodged in barrack 21 of the Lakhimpur district jail. 

On Monday, a  special investigation team (SIT) led by DIG Upendra Agarwal will seek his police remand for further interrogation. Though Ashish kept insisting that he was not in the car that rammed into the protestors from behind, which led to the violence that killed eight persons, including farmers and a journalist, police authorities claimed they had evidence to show his presence at the spot. 

It was Ashish’s Mahindra Thar SUV that mowed into the farmers around 3 pm last Sunday, when farmers were protesting against the visit of UP deputy chief minister Keshav Maurya to Lakhimpur Kheri. While he ducked questions about his role in the ghastly incident, sources claimed he failed to provide satisfactory evidence about his whereabouts between 2.36 pm and 3.30 pm on that fateful Sunday. 

Ashish claimed he was attending a dangal (wrestling match) at his ancestral village Banbirpur at that time and furnished videos and affidavits of 10 people to corroborate his claim, but the SIT was not impressed.“I was not present at the site of incident,” was his standard  response to most questions, adding: “I came to know about it later.”

But when asked about the bullet cartridges the police found in his car that was burnt by the angry protestors at the violence site, he was evasive. He also did not provide satisfactory answers to questions on the licensed arms he was carrying and who all were with him, sources said. The name he mentioned was of Hari Om, who, he claimed was driving the SUV.

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