LUCKNOW: Junior Union Home Minister Ajay Mishra on Monday denied all charges against his son Ashish who is alleged to have mowed down four framers in Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday.
Five more people, including three from BJP, a driver and a freelance journalist had died in the violence.
Both the minister and his son said that there is evidence to prove the latter's innocence.
The minister, while talking to reporters, expressed empathy for the farmers who lost their lives in the violence. He demanded Rs 50 lakh as compensation for the families of BJP workers who lost life in the violence. The minister said that case must be lodged against those involved in beating the BJP workers to death. He also claimed that his driver had died inside the vehicle when he was hit by a stone pelted by a protesting farmer on his vehicle.
“Three of our workers and a driver were killed. Our cars were set on fire in Lakhimpur Kheri. We are going to get an FIR lodged. We have video clips to prove our point. A case under Section 302 of IPC has to be lodged against those who were involved in mindless violence,” said the minister.
Demanding a CBI probe or an STF inquiry monitored by retired or sitting High Court Judge into the incident, Mishra claimed that BJP workers were attacked with sticks and swords. “Videos are viral on social media showing our workers being forced to say that I had asked them to mow down farmers. Allegations against my son are also baseless. Had he been there, he would also have been also killed by the violent mob,” said Mishra.
Ashish Mishra, the son of Union Minister, refuted accusations that he was part of the convoy that allegedly ran over farmers, triggering the violence that left nine people dead in Lakhimpur on Sunday.
"The programme that was happening was an ancestral one. It has been going on for around 35 years... We have a tradition that when we have guests, we send two-three vehicles to receive them... the Mahindra Thar was my vehicle, one of our workers had a Toyota Fortuner and there was a smaller car," he said while talking to media persons.
"I was not in the car. I was at my paternal home in Banbirpur village where a wrestling match was being organised. I was there from the morning till the end of the event," he said.
"It's not correct that the Fortuner mowed down farmers. The truth is that our worker went to receive the Honourable Deputy Chief Minister. The Thar SUV that was in the front was attacked with sticks and stones. Driver Hari Om was injured or may have died in that attack. The car lost its balance and overturned.
That's how these two people who are being called farmers must have been injured," Ashish added.
"People who did such things cannot be called farmers. India's farmers are not so heartless and cruel. The fault lies with the people who are leading the farmers' organisation. This is a democracy everyone has the right to have their say and wave their flag but peacefully," he said.
A murder case has been filed against Ashish Mishra, who, the farmers alleged, was driving one of the three vehicles that mowed down the protesters, which triggered the violence. The protesters were trying to stop the visit of his Union Minister father and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya.