LAKHIMPUR KHERI :
UNION Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra was quizzed here on Saturday for over nine hours by an SIT of Uttar Pradesh Police in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri violence on October 3, a day after the Supreme Court expressed dissatisfaction over the State Government’s action in the case. Ashish Mishra appeared before the special investigation team (SIT) at around 10.30 AM after a second summons was served to him the previous day when he did not turn up for interrogation and the questioning at the Crime Branch office in the Police Lines was continuing even after 8 PM, sources said. Security personnel were deployed in strength and barricades put up in the area. 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 last Sunday. Two BJP workers and their driver were then allegedly lynched by angry farmers.
Local journalist Raman Kashyap also died in the incident, which has triggered a political storm and put the BJP Government on the back foot in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh. Meanwhile, Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu ended his “silent protest”, which he started at 6.15 PM on Friday outside the home of Kashyap in Nighasan tehsil, after the Minister’s son turned up for questioning. “This is the victory of truth. A person may be a king, but no one is bigger than justice. If there is justice, there is ‘shaasan’ (governance), and if there is no justice, there is ‘kushaasan’ (misgovernance). This is the victory of the families of farmers. The family of Lovpreet Singh and the family of Raman Kashyap,” he said. Lovepreet Singh of Palia village of Lakhimpur was among those who died in the violence. While his son was being questioned, Union Minister Ajay Mishra was huddled with lawyers at the local party office where a large number of BJP workers gathered and shouted slogans in support of him.
The Minister came out of the office and told the party workers that Ashish was innocent and had no role in the October 3 incident. A protest was also held here demanding justice for Shubham Mishra, one of the BJP workers killed in the incident. However, Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait said that he doesn’t consider those who killed BJP workers in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri as culprits as they only reacted to SUV running over protesters. “The killing of two BJP workers in Lakhimpur Kheri after a convoy of cars mowed down four farmers is a reaction to an action. I do not consider those involved in the killings as culprits,” Tikait said in reply to a question.