Lakhimpur Kheri : Despite nationwide outrage calling for arrest of Union Minister Ashok Kumar Mishra’s son Ashish for allegedly mowing down farmers with his SUV at Lakhimpur Kheri, the accused did not appear before investigating team for his questioning slated today.
The Deputy Inspector General Upendra Agarwal, who heads the 9-member investigating team, said Ashish’s lawyer showed up at Crime Branch Office to inform the accused would not be able to appear today. Speculation is rife that Ashish has crossed over to Nepal, 600 km away from Lakhimpur, and remains in hiding there.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court came down heavily on the U. P. government asking what action was taken against Ashish Mishra so far in the incident. The lawyer appearing for government told the court a notice has been sent to Ashish asking to come in for questioning. The Bench headed by Chief Justice of India reacted the submission asking, if this is the callous manner the authorities would maintain, had the accused in brutal murders been somebody else ?
The court reprimanded the government further, asking what message is being sending out to the public, if son of a Union Home Minister acts like this ? The court ordered for immediate action and pursuit of the evasive accused.
Ashish faces serious charges in the case, including conspiracy, murder and riding vehicle with intent to murder. Incidentally, the investigation team has reported finding spent bullet casings from the crime scene.
Backdrop : Eight people including farmers were killed on 3 October, after a vehicle allegedly traveled in by the Deputy Union Minister’s son ploughed into a crowd of peacefully protesting farmers. He then allegedly shot into the crowd killing two, before fleeing the scene.