LUCKNOW: Under pressure from various quarters including the Supreme Court, Ashish Mishra, the main accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, appeared before the crime branch of Uttar Pradesh police on Saturday.
Sunday's violence, which rocked the country, had claimed eight lives including four farmers while they were protesting against the visit of UP deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya to take part in a programme organised by the union minister.
The FIR lodged on the basis of the farmers’ complaint booked Ashish Mishra and 15-20 unidentified persons under various sections of IPC including murder, criminal conspiracy and rioting, etc. On Saturday morning, Ashish Mishra reported before the Crime Branch in Lakhimpur Kheri town.
“We respect the notice and will cooperate in the investigation. Ashish Mishra will appear before the police today,” Awadhesh Kumar, legal advisor of the accused, said while talking to the media person before his appearance.
The police tightened security outside Teni's residence and Lakhimpur Kheri police lines ahead of Ashish Mishra's appearance on Saturday.
The Supreme Court on Friday had also pulled the UP government for not arresting Ashish even after five days. Ashish Mishra did not show up on Friday in response to the first summon served by the UP police on Thursday.
The police authorities then served a second summon on Friday asking Ashish to present himself in front of the crime branch for questioning by 11 am on Saturday in Lakhimpur. As Ashish jumped the police summon on Friday, his father and Union minister said that his son could not report to the police due to "health reasons".
Denying the media reports that Ashish had fled to Nepal and had been changing his location frequently, minister Ajay Mishra had claimed that his son was at home in Lakhimpur and that he would appear before the police on Saturday.
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