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Lakhimpur Kheri violence: Ashish Mishra fails to appear before police; reports say he may have fled to Nepal

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Union Minister of State for Home Kumar Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra, who was asked to appear before the police at 10 am on Friday in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, did not reach the police lines till 11.30 am, sources said.

Deputy Inspector General (Headquarters) Upendra Agarwal who is heading the probe team is present in the police lines for questioning him, they said.

“Ashish Mishra has not turned up till now,” an official source said around 11.30 am.

In a statement issued here, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha said, “…there is no trace of him (Ashish Mishra). News reports indicate that he is changing locations and is absconding, with several UP Police teams searching for him.”

The morcha expressed its “serious concern and shock” as Mishra was not arrested.

As investigators waited for Mishra, reports emerged that he might have fled to Nepal.

Asked about it, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Friday said, “If this is true, the Centre should intervene and get the accused arrested from Nepal.”

After two men were arrested on Thursday, the police pasted a notice outside his house asking him to appear before it in connection with the violence that claimed eight lives.

Four of the eight people who died on Sunday were farmers, allegedly knocked down by a vehicle carrying BJP workers. Angry farmers then allegedly lynched some people in the vehicles.

The other dead included two BJP workers and their driver.

Farmers claimed that Ashish Mishra was in one of the vehicles, an allegation denied by him and his father who say they can produce evidence to prove he was at an event at that time.

A nine-member team headed by DIG Upendra Agarwal has been formed to investigate the FIR lodged against the minister’s son and others.

The arrested men were identified as Luvkush of Banbirpur village and Ashish Pandey of Nighasan tehsil, two of the seven people mentioned in an FIR lodged by police.

In its statement, the morcha alleged that Sumit Jaiswal, Ankit Das and some other persons were also involved in the violence, but they are not being arrested by the police.

“There is only information on a notice issued to Ashish Mishra summoning him for questioning. The UP government and Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra are adopting protective tactics to ensure that Ashish Mishra roams free,” it said.

It alleged that Sumit Jaiswal was in the Thar vehicle that mowed down the farmers and was clearly seen escaping from the vehicle.

Similarly, a video clip where a police official was seen questioning a person caught during the incident showed that Ankit Das was in the Fortuner vehicle that was also involved in the violence, the morcha said.

The morcha demanded immediate arrest of Ashish, Sumit and Ankit. PTI

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