Express News Service

LUCKNOW: Ashish Mishra, the prime accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, was taken to the crime branch office by the SIT on Tuesday for interrogation. 

Ashish, the son of junior Union Home Minister Ajay Mishra, was arrested by the SIT on Saturday night in connection with the October 3 Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which eight people, including four farmers, were killed. He was held and taken into custody after a 12-hour-long interrogation during which, as the DIG Upendra Agarwal said, was not cooperating and was evasive in replying to questions posed to him.

On Monday, the police had demanded a 14-day remand of Ashish but got a three-day remand beginning October 12 and it will end on October 15, senior prosecution officer (SPO) SP Yadav had told reporters. 

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Elaborate security arrangements in and around the crime branch office while Ashish was taken there for grilling, said a police source. Ashish Mishra was named in an FIR following allegations that he was in one of the vehicles that mowed down four farmers protesting over UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s visit on October 3.

Besides, four farmers, two BJP workers, and their driver were allegedly lynched by angry farmers in the incident. Local journalist Raman Kashyap also died in the violence.

Meanwhile, in another development, Ashish Mishra’s associate Ankit Das filed a surrender application in the Chief Judicial Magistrate court on Tuesday. The court asked for a report from the police station concerned. Ankit Das is the relative of a former Congress MP, the late Akhilesh Das.

Ankit Das’s car was part of the fleet that ran over the protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3. It is believed that he can surrender any time now. However, the UP police are conducting raids at several places to nab Das.

Earlier on Tuesday morning, the Lakhimpur Kheri police had arrested Shekhar Bharti, the driver of Ankit Das’ car. As per the sources, Shekhar was driving ‘Fortuner’ when the incident took place.  This takes the number of people arrested so far in connection with the violence to four.