A court in Uttar Pradesh on Monday sent Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra to three-day police custody in connection with the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri district on October 3, PTI reported.
Ashish Mishra was arrested on Saturday and sent to judicial custody for 14 days. He has been charged with multiple offences, including murder and criminal conspiracy, in connection with violence. Eight people, including four farmers, were killed in the violence last week during a protest against the Centre’s new agriculture laws.
“Police had demanded a 14-day remand of Ashish,” Senior Prosecution Officer SP Yadav told reporters on Monday. “They have got three-day remand from October 12 to 15.”
The police told the court that they want to interrogate Ashish Mishra about a possible “conspiracy” in the violence, India Today reported.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Chintaram accepted the police’s request, but added that the minister’s son should not be harassed and that his lawyer will be present during the questioning.
Security outside the court was increased ahead of the hearing on Monday.
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Farmer bodies have alleged that a vehicle which was part of Ajay Mishra’s convoy ran over the protestors. They have claimed the vehicle belonged to Ashish Mishra.
Parties in the Opposition have accused the Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government of shielding Ashish Mishra and his father.
At a rally on Sunday, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra claimed that the police had not been strict with the accused person. “Have you ever seen that a man who has killed people is being invited by the police to come talk to them?” the Congress leader asked the crowd.
Ashish Mishra had skipped police summons on Friday. The police issued him a second notice, asking him to appear before them on Saturday.
He was questioned for 12 hours on Saturday before being arrested.
Ashish Mishra was arrested after the Uttar Pradesh administration faced questions from critics for its handling of the case. The Supreme Court on Friday said that it was not satisfied with the steps taken by the Uttar Pradesh government in the investigation of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.