My son was not there... else he would not have survived attack, says Ajay Mishra

The minister’s son, Ashish Mishra, who is facing murder charges, also claimed that the allegations against him are baseless and that he was not present at the scene of the incident in Lakhimpur Kheri district.
Union minister Ajay Kumar Mishra Teni dismissed allegations that his son was allegedly driving a vehicle which mowed down several people, including four farmers, in Lakhimpur Kheri district a day ago.
Union minister Ajay Kumar Mishra Teni dismissed allegations that his son was allegedly driving a vehicle which mowed down several people, including four farmers, in Lakhimpur Kheri district a day ago.
Updated on Oct 05, 2021 02:09 AM IST
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ByHT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Lakhimpur

As the political row over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence intensified on Monday, Union minister Ajay Kumar Mishra Teni dismissed allegations that his son was allegedly driving a vehicle which mowed down several people, including four farmers, a day ago.

The minister’s son, Ashish Mishra, who is facing murder charges, also claimed that the allegations against him are baseless and that he was not present at the scene of the incident.

“My son was not there. In the programme, there were thousands of people, including police and administration. My son was present at the programme venue from 11 am and continued to stay there till the conclusion of the programme. So there is no chance of my son being present at the spot,” he said.

The Union minister was referring to a programme which was organised to welcome Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya in the district.

Violence broke out after two vehicles belonging to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers, en route to the event, allegedly ran over four cultivators who were demonstrating against Maurya’s visit at Tikonia-Banbirpur road in Lakhimpur Kheri.

Angered by this, the protesters then allegedly went on a rampage and lynched two BJP workers and a driver. Two vehicles were also set on fire by the mob.

A murder case was filed against the minister’s son, Ashish Mishra, on Monday after protesters alleged that he was driving the vehicle that ran over protesting farmers on Sunday.

“I was neither present in the car nor at the spot (of the incident)... I was in Banbirpur from 9am in the morning till late evening, supervising arrangements for the visit of the deputy chief minister,” Ashish said.

“Allegations against me are completely baseless and I demand judicial inquiry of this matter and culprits should get punished,” he added.

The Union minister claimed that protesters first pelted stones due to which the driver lost control of the vehicle, leading to the accident.

“Some elements in farmers, who were protesting, showed black flags and pelted stones on the car which turned turtle. Two farmers came under the car and died,” he said.

Besides this, Teni also denied making any remarks against the farmers which allegedly led to the protests on Sunday.

“I myself am a farmer and how can I say anything against them. What I have referred to in my statements is the unlawful elements penetrating into farmers’ agitation,” he said.

The minister’s clarification came after a purported video of him telling farmers that he would “discipline” them in “two minutes” was believed to have triggered the protests which ultimately led to violence.

“Face me, it will take just two minutes to discipline you fellows,” the two-time BJP MP from Kheri was heard purportedly saying in the video, which went viral on social media before Sunday.

(With agency inputs)

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Sunday, December 05, 2021