Union minister Ajay Mishra Teni’s son Ashish Mishra decided to run a motif in all his answers to police’s every question that “I was not present there at the spot during the incident” and that might have prompted police to arrest him.
His denial was similar to that of his father when the incident indicated his son’s involvement following which he was booked for the Lakhimpur Kheri violence that took eight lives including four farmers on 3 October.
On Sunday, he was interrogated for 12 hours and among a batch of questions, he was asked to give details of his location between 2.30 pm and 3.30 pm on 3 October which, according to officers, Mishra was unable to provide.
Witnesses said he was missing from the event between 2 and 4 pm, his phone location showed him closer to the crime scene.
“To every question, he had one answer – I was not present at the spot where the incident took place. We asked him who drove his SUV, how many people were sitting in it, how many cars were there in the convoy and for every question he said he was not present,” said the police officer.
Mishra admitted that the car that mowed down farmers belonged to him but maintained that he was not inside while his team produced around 150 images of the wrestling match which he was attending on the day of the incident.
When asked why the vehicle did not stop after hitting the people and why was there a crowd on the road, Mishra had one reply – “I was not there” and when badgered, he lost his composure and said, “Even if you ask me one lakh times, my answer will be the same.”
He even feigned complete ignorance about the fact that his men carried arms with them.
Families of at least two deceased claimed there were gunshot wounds on the bodies which the post-mortem report contradicts but two empty cartridges of .315 Bore rifle were found at the scene of violence, indicating that someone had opened fire.
When asked why he was not cooperating with the investigations, Ashish said, “Whenever I am needed, I will come. I am not a criminal – I am the son of a politician and a businessman in my own right.”
Mishra was arrested a day after the Supreme Court reminded the Uttar Pradesh government that the law must take its course against ‘whoever is involved’ amid nationwide outrage over the incident and mounting pressure from farmer groups.