The son of an Indian minister was arrested and sent to police custody after he was accused of ramming his car on protesters in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh last week, killing eight people.
Junior Home Minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra has been sent to three-day police custody for crushing the farmers who were protesting in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3. Four farmers and a local journalist died in the accident. Later, an angry mob allegedly thrashed three people present in the car to death.
Mr Mishra has denied the allegations, but has been unable to establish whether he was elsewhere at the time of the accident. He claimed that he was at a wrestling event about 5 km from the violence site.
News website NDTV reported that Mr Mishra was missing between 2 pm and 4 pm that day, based on testimonials from police personnel posted at the event and people gathering at the venue.
Police officials said they questioned Mr Mishra for nearly 12 hours on Saturday. He was called for questioning on Friday, but he did not turn up. He has been charged with crimes such as murder and criminal conspiracy.
“We are taking Ashish Mishra into custody. He was not cooperating in the investigation,” said Deputy Inspector General Upendra Agarwal Reuters.
Police sources also said that the minister’s son has been “childish” with his reactions.
Mr Mishra was examined by a medical team at the Crime Branch office where he was interrogated. His arrest came a day after the Supreme Court of India reminded the state police that the law should take its course, whoever the accused is. The incident sparked widespread outrage as Mr. Mishra was not arrested immediately after the violence.
Meanwhile, leaders of the opposition Indian National Congress staged a silent protest near the Lieutenant Governor’s office in Delhi on Monday. He also demanded the resignation of Minister Mishra. The party on Monday called for a bandh in the western state of Maharashtra to express its solidarity with the farmers.
BJP’s Uttar Pradesh President Swatantra Dev Singh has asked Ajay Mishra to meet him by Monday evening. He has not met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath or Mr. Singh to talk about the October 3 violence. IANS.
Mr Singh said his party’s politics does not revolve around “robbing or crushing people” with cars.
Two of the three people killed inside the car at Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3 were BJP workers. Their families allege that no senior party leader has come to meet them so far.
Congress party leaders, including Priyanka Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, had last week met the families of the deceased farmers and a local journalist.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been protesting for nearly ten months on the outskirts of Delhi against agrarian reforms without any concrete discussion in Parliament last year. They are demanding the government to repeal the reforms.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /