Lucknow | Jagran News Desk: Ashish Mishra, the son of Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Kumar Mishra Teni, was on Saturday night arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police following 12 hours of questioning in connection with the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri that claimed the lives of eight people, including four farmers and three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers.

35-year-old Ashish, accused of allegedly crushing four farmers to death with his SUV, has been sent to 14-day judicial custody. He, however, will be produced before a local court on Monday on whether Ashish Mishra should be sent to police custody or not.

"He (Ashish Mishra) will be in judicial custody for the time being. He was produced before the Judicial Magistrate and the police had demanded three-day custody, to which we objected. The matter will be heard on October 11 and it will be decided whether Mishra will be sent to police custody," his lawyer Avdesh Kumar Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The Uttar Pradesh Police said that Ashish has been arrested for his "non-cooperation and evasive replies" during the interrogation. The police said that Ashish didn't answer a few questions and failed to prove his alibi.

"We are taking him in custody on grounds of non-cooperation and evasive replies. He will be produced in court and sustained custodial interrogation will follow," news agency PTI quoted DIG Upendra Agarwal as saying.

Ashish, named in the first information report (FIR) over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, was asked to appear before the Uttar Pradesh Police on Friday. A summon was issued against him again, asking him to appear before the police on Saturday after he did not turn up for interrogation.

His father has repeatedly defended Ashish and claimed that he is "innocent". Alleging conspiracy, the Union Minister has called the allegations against his son "baseless". "BJP workers were attacked and killed with sticks and swords. Videos show some attackers asked our workers to say that I had asked them to mow down farmers. Allegations against my son are totally baseless. Had he been there, he would have been killed," he claimed.

However, the farmers remain firm that strict actions must be taken against Ashish. They have also demanded that Ajay Mishra should be "dismissed from the cabinet and arrested on charges of spreading disharmony, murder and conspiracy".

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma