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UP Farmers’ Killing: Minister’s Son Taken To Site To Recreate Crime Scene

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Ashish Mishra is the son of young Union Interior Minister Ajay Mishra

Lakhimpur Kheri, UP:

Uttar Pradesh police are trying to ‘recreate’ the horrific events that took place in Lakhimpur Kheri earlier this month, when four peacefully demonstrating farmers and a journalist were mowed down by a convoy of three vehicles, one of them belongs to Union Minister Ajay Mishra.

Police have brought Mr Mishra’s son Ashish, accused of murdering the farmers, along with his friend and co-accused Ankit Das to the scene, and are using police cars to recreate the events of that day.

Ashish Mishra denied being present at the scene of the crime when the murders took place; he claimed he was in his hometown (about two kilometers away) and stayed there all day.

Visuals filmed by journalists at the scene showed a police jeep driving at high speed and crushing mannequins (meant to represent crushed farmers) placed in the road.

Another clip showed the crime scene secured with police tape; this, however, raised questions as to why the police did not secure the scene immediately after the incident and allowed everyone, including the media, unfiltered access for at least 48 hours.

Ashish Mishra was arrested last week – after spending almost seven days as a free man despite his name in the FIR (first information report). Yesterday he was denied bail by a local court.

Pre-trial detention ends today, but they are likely to request additional custody in order to be able to question him.

Ashish’s arrest followed 12 hours of questioning by members of the police team formed to investigate the Lakhimpur incident, and this questioning came after an intervention by the Supreme Court, which asked the UP police if she treated Ashish Mishra differently because of her high profile father. .

Police previously denied that Ashish Mishra’s obvious family ties influenced them.

A special police team tries to recreate the events of October 2, when four farmers were shot dead

Yesterday, a delegation of congressional leaders, led by Rahul Gandhi, met with President Ram Nath Kovind and urged him to address the government on this issue.

Congress and other opposition parties have demanded that Ajay Mishra – who as deputy interior minister oversees national police matters – resign in order to ensure a fair investigation.

“The families think that as long as his minister father is not in office, there can be no justice. It is also the demand of the people of the UP and the good people of the country… The president declared that ‘he would consult with the government,’ Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said.

Rahul Gandhi has called for two sitting Supreme Court judges to investigate the Lakhimpur incident – currently being investigated by a UP Police SIT. The Supreme Court, meanwhile, has previously ruled out a CBI investigation into the deaths, citing “people involved” – seen as a reference to Ajay Mishra.

Ashish Mishra and her father have denied all charges.

Mr Mishra told DAILYNEWSCATCH that the car was owned by his family but neither he nor his son were there at the time. He resisted all calls for resignation; he met his boss, Amit Shah, this month, after which government sources ruled out any possibility of his resignation.

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