Lakhimpur Kheri, UP:
UP police are trying to “recreate” the horrific events that took place in Lakhimpur Kheri earlier this month when four farmers were mowed down by a car belonging to Union Minister Ajay Mishra.
Police brought Mr Mishra’s son Ashish, accused of murdering the farmers, along with his friend and co-accused Ankit Das to the scene, and are using police cars to recreate the events of that day.
Ashish Mishra was arrested last week – after spending almost seven days as a free man despite his name in the FIR (first information report). Yesterday he was denied bail by a local court.
His arrest followed 12 hours of questioning by members of the police team formed to investigate the Lakhimpur incident, and this questioning came after an intervention by the Supreme Court, which asked the police to UP if she treated Ashish Mishra differently because of her high profile father. .
Police previously denied that Ashish Mishra’s obvious family ties influenced them.
After his arrest, Ashish Mishra was sent to three-day pre-trial detention by UP police.
This referral expires today.
Yesterday, a delegation of congressional leaders, led by Rahul Gandhi, met with President Ram Nath Kovind and urged him to address the government on this issue.
Congress and other opposition parties have demanded that Ajay Mishra – who as deputy interior minister oversees national police matters – resign in order to ensure a fair investigation.
“The families think that as long as his father minister is not in office, there can be no justice. It is also the demand of the people of the UP and of the good people of the country… The president declared that ‘he would consult with the government,’ Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said.
Rahul Gandhi has called for two sitting Supreme Court judges to investigate the Lakhimpur incident – currently being investigated by a UP Police SIT. The Supreme Court, meanwhile, has previously ruled out a CBI investigation into the deaths, citing “people involved” – seen as a reference to Ajay Mishra.
Ashish Mishra and her father have denied all charges.
Mr Mishra told The Bharat Express News that the car was owned by his family but neither he nor his son were there at the time. He also resisted calls for resignation; he met his boss, Amit Shah, this month.