'Deliberately Misleading the Police': Congress Seeks Federal Minister's Arrest After Son's Detention

© AFP 2022 / TAUSEEF MUSTAFASupporters of India's opposition Congress party shout slogans during a demonstration in Srinagar on October 5, 2021, after at least nine people were killed in a recent incident involving protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri district of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh
Supporters of India's opposition Congress party shout slogans during a demonstration in Srinagar on October 5, 2021, after at least nine people were killed in a recent incident involving protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri district of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.10.2021
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Violence erupted in the Lakhimpur Kheri district of India's Uttar Pradesh state after a protest by farmers demanding the repeal of last year's three farm liberalisation laws turned bloody. The farmers alleged that a vehicle owned by a federal minister ran over them deliberately and without any provocation.
A day after India's Uttar Pradesh Police arrested Ashish Mishra, son of the federal minister for home affairs, Ajay Kumar Mishra, in a case of alleged murder, the Congress party demanded that the minister should also be taken into custody for "deliberately misleading the police".
On Sunday, the national spokesperson for India's main opposition party, Congress, Dr Shama Mohamed strongly objected to federal minister Ajay Kumar Mishra's insistence that his son was not present at the spot when the violence occurred.
Ashish Mishra was arrested on Saturday, after being questioned for more than 12 hours, in Lakhimpur Kheri. He was produced before a court late on Saturday and has been sent into 14-day judicial custody in connection with the violence in the area on 3 October that claimed eight lives.
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Upendra Agarwal, deputy inspector general of police, told media that Mishra had been arrested after he failed to cooperate in the interrogation.
"He could not inform or validate on various points regarding his whereabouts at the time of the incident. We will try to get information from him after getting him on police remand", Agarwal said.
The police said that Mishra was questioned after he appeared before a special investigation team on Saturday morning following the police summoning him for a second time. He failed to appear for interrogation after the first summons were issued.
Villagers watch a burnt car which run over and killed farmers on Sunday, at Tikonia village in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Oct. 4, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.10.2021
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Criminal charges of murder have been pressed against him after farmers alleged that he was driving one of the vehicles that rammed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting against the federal government's farm laws.
The incident has triggered a political storm and put the Bharatiya Janata Party government on the back foot in Uttar Pradesh, which is heading for legislative elections early next year. The Congress party has raised the decibel over the incident and launched countrywide protests, even as top leaders of the party, from across the country, have reached out to Lakhimpur Kheri to offer condolences to the bereaved families.
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