Prior to being detained, Ashish Misra was interrogated for 12 hours at the criminal branch office in Lakhimpur Kheri. Throughout the investigation, Misra told police the following.
On Saturday night, Ashish Misra, the son of Union Minister Ajay Misra, was apprehended on suspicion of the turmoil that erupted last week in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri.
Before being detained, he was questioned for 12 hours at the criminal branch office in Lakhimpur Kheri. Ashish Misra’s phone was also confiscated by the criminal branch.
Viral video shows Misra’s racing Mahindra Thar jeep ploughing over protesters
The incident in Lakhimpur Kheri occurred while Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and Uttar Pradesh Minister of State for Home Ajay Misra Teni were scheduled to visit the area to place the foundation stone for government programmes.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha had called for a demonstration and a halt to the convoy of Maurya and Ajay Mishra that same day.
A viral footage later surfaced showing Ashish Misra’s racing Mahindra Thar jeep ploughing over protesters at a farmers’ demonstration in Lakhimpur Kheri. Two SUVs, one black and the other white, were also spotted pursuing the jeep, which was surrounded by a flurry of people shouting and sobbing.
Upendra Agarwal, DIG in Saharanpur, informs reporters of Misra’s arrest
Farmers claim that Ashish Misra was in the car that plowed down the demonstrators. The tragedy claimed the lives of eight individuals, including four farmers, two BJP members, a driver, and a journalist.
Upendra Agarwal, the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in Saharanpur, informed reporters, “”Ashish Misra, son of MoS (Home) Ajay Misra Teni, has been arrested as he was not cooperating during the interrogation and didn’t answer a few questions. He will be produced before the court.”
During the investigation, Ashish Misra told police the following (Q/A):
- Were you aware that the VVIP route to the event venue was changed?
Ashish Misra: I was aware of the route they took to reach there earlier. The information about the change in the route was made at the last moment.
- Where were you when the incident happened?
Ashish Misra: I was at the event venue when this incident happened. I was organising the programme and was busy making the arrangements for the arrival of VVIPs.
- Where were you from 2.36 pm to 3.30 pm?
Ashish Misra: Even at that time, I was present at the event and had not gone anywhere.
- But people say that you were missing during this time from the venue during the programme.
Ashish Misra: No, I was at the venue. In between, I used to go to one of my rice mills next to the venue, then I would come back.
- Who was driving the Thar jeep that was torched in the violence? Who was sitting inside it and to whom the Fortuner Scorpio belonged?
Ashish Misra: The Thar jeep belonged to me. Our driver, Hariom Mishra, was driving it. Ankit Das, our close aide and BJP worker was in the Fortuner. He went to bring the chief guest to the venue. But I don’t know where it went. He has not been in touch with me since the incident.
- Which of the three vehicles were you in?
Ashish Misra: I said that I was at the venue. I did not leave the program or go anywhere.
- Eyewitness says you were driving that jeep.
Ashish Misra: No, I was not in the Thar jeep. I was not in any car. I sent these vehicles to bring the VVIPs.
- If you were not at the spot, then why did you disappear after the FIR was registered? Where have you been in the last 48 hours?
Ashish Misra: I had not disappeared. I was in my village, Balbir Pur, taking a rest since I had fallen sick.
- Why is there no evidence that you were at the venue when the violence took place?
Ashish Misra: I was present there during the entire program. I did not go anywhere, I did not know that my name would surface in this violence. I provided the videos of the whole program, whatever I have found.
- Two missing cartridges have been recovered from the car. Who carried the weapon? Who did you send armed with weapons?
Ashish Misra: When I am in the car, I carry my weapons. But when I am not there, there is no weapon in the car.