A video of Union Minister of State (Home) Ajay Kumar Mishra has emerged on social media in which he manhandles and abuses a journalist after being asked about his son Ashish, who is an accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri farmers’ killings.
Mishra was questioned about a report on his son submitted by the Uttar Pradesh Police’s Special Investigation Team last day. On Tuesday, the investigation team had said that the killing of farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri was planned.
Ashish Mishra, the minister’s son is in jail in relation to the Lakhimpur Kheri killings.
In the video, Mishra is seen getting worked up when the journalist asks him a question about his son Ashish. The minister then loses his cool and gets involved in an angry exchange where he is heard saying, “Media people are thieves. They have sent an innocent person to jail. Don’t you feel ashamed? Mic band karo be (shut the mic)…What do you want to know?”
Mishra gets infuriated at the question and asks the journalist not to ask “bewkoofi ke sawaal [stupid questions]”.
The incident took place when the minister was inaugurating an oxygen plant at Lakhimpur Kheri, where he visited his son in jail yesterday.
After the incident, the journalist who had asked the question said that phones of his colleagues have been snatched.
The Uttar Pradesh Police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) in a plea before a local court described the farmers’ killings in Lakhimpur Kheri in October, in which Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra’s vehicle had ran over protesting farmers, as “pre-planned” and said that it was done with an intention to kill.
“It appears from the probe that has been conducted and material collected till now that the said act wasn’t a negligent act committed by the accused, rather, it was done intentionally as per premeditated plan to kill…”, read the SIT’s application.
After two months of investigation, the UP Police have moved the application to add attempt to murder and other criminal charges in the case against the accused persons, including Ashish Mishra and 12 others.
The SIT requested the court that IPC Sections 307, 326, 34 along with Sections 3, 25 and 30 of the Arms Act be invoked against all 13, in addition to the charges mentioned in the FIR (of murder and criminal conspiracy, among others).
The court has summoned the 13 accused on Tuesday. The court is yet to decide on the SIT’s application.
All the accused are currently in Lakhimpur Kheri jail.
On 3 October, eight people, including four farmers and one journalist were killed during a protest in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district against the Union government’s farm laws.
The Union minister’s son was arrested on October 9 following a huge outrage by farmers and Opposition parties. The arrest came a day after the Supreme Court said that it was not satisfied with the steps taken by the Uttar Pradesh government in the investigation.
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