Lakhimpur Kheri: Ashis Mishra to be taken to massacre site
The police took Ashis Mishra into custody from Lakhimpur Kheri jail at 10am on Tuesday and will be taking him to the massacre site on Wednesday for a reconstruction of the October 3 events, sources said.
On Tuesday, Ashis was being questioned at the crime branch office in the police lines, barely 500 metres from the prison gates.
A source at the home department in Lucknow told The Telegraph the special investigation team (SIT) was
asking the same questions that Ashis had deflected on Saturday before he was arrested.
“The questions are simple, such as why he had decided to drive to the place where the farmers were protesting and what made him plough his Thar jeep into the farmers,” the official said, asking not to be identified.
“Even if the accused repeats the same answer that he was not there, the interrogators will be repeatedly asking these questions. They have found that Ashis gets irritated very quickly, and that’s a positive sign for the interrogators.”
The official added: “The SIT will take Ashis to the massacre site on Wednesday.”
Ashis, son of Union minister of state for home Ajay Mishra Teni, is accused of driving a Thar into a farmers’ protest in Lakhimpur Kheri, killing four farmers and a journalist. The Thar was leading a convoy of SUVs, including a Fortuner, which too is alleged to have run over farmers. Ashis says he was elsewhere at the time.
Ashis’s counsel Awadhesh Singh, who was waiting at the gate of the crime branch office on Tuesday, told reporters: “The court has allowed five defence lawyers to remain wherever the SIT takes Ashis. We will not go near them or not disturb them. We cannot influence the inquiry.”
A police source told reporters in Lakhimpur Kheri that Ankit Das, the owner of the Fortuner, and his associate Mohammad Latif had applied to the district court saying they wanted to surrender.
On Tuesday a man named Shekhar Bharati, who had allegedly dropped Ankit near the Darchula border in Nepal, barely 10km from the massacre site, was arrested and sent to judicial custody for 14 days.
Besides Ashis, the police had earlier arrested two of his associates, Ashish Pandey and Luv Kush Rana, who were allegedly in the convoy.
On Monday, the court gave the SIT custody of Ashis for three days from Tuesday 10am.