Lucknow | Jagran News Desk: Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Kumar Mishra, who has been facing the heat over the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri, defended his son Ashish on Friday once again and said that he will appear before the Uttar Pradesh Police Saturday to record his statement. Speaking to the reporters, Mishra claimed that Ashish is "innocent" and he could not appear before the Uttar Pradesh Police as he "was not well".

"We have full faith in law. My son is innocent. He got a notice on Thursday but he said he was not well. He will appear before the police tomorrow and give his statement and evidence as he is innocent," he was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

This comes hours after the Uttar Pradesh Police issued a fresh notice against Ashish after he failed to appear before it on Friday. It also pasted the notice outside Mishra's residence in Lakhimpur Kheri and warned that legal action will be initiated against Ashish if he fails to appear before the investigators on Saturday.

The farmers have claimed that Ashish was driving the SUV that allegedly crushed four protesters on Sunday. They have also urged both the Centre and Yogi Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh to arrest Ashish and take actions against the culprits.

"...there is no trace of him (Ashish Mishra). News reports indicate that he is changing locations and is absconding, with several Uttar Pradesh Police teams searching for him," said the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, as reported by news agency PTI.

"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 added.

Eight people died on Sunday were farmers, allegedly knocked down by vehicles carrying BJP workers. Angry farmers then allegedly lynched some people in the vehicles. The other dead included two BJP workers and their driver.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma