Lucknow: Police raid Ashish’s ‘friend’

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After the arrest of Ashish Misra, son of Union Moses Ajay Misra, on suspicion of murder, the Uttar Pradesh Special Investigation Team (SIT) investigating the Lakhimpur Gary incident has launched an investigation to probe a relative of the late Akhilesh Das, a former Congress MP. In this case, The Indian Express learned.

On Monday, police are likely to detain Ashish, who denied he was at the scene at the time of the incident and submitted a pendrive containing videos and photos to support his version.

Ashish was arrested on Saturday for “not cooperating” with the investigation, according to police. He was produced before a magistrate and remanded in judicial custody.

The name of Ankit Das, the son-in-law of a former Rajya Sabha MP who died in 2017, was found in a video clip three days ago of a man who allegedly sustained a head injury while in the vehicle. It attacked a group of farm protesters in Lakhimpur Kerry last Sunday.

The unidentified man is said to have been in the vehicle with four others, including Ankit Das. The vehicle, part of the vehicle that attacked the group – four farmers were killed – was later damaged and set on fire by protesters. Four more people were killed in the violence, including the driver of Union Moses Misra, two BJP workers and a journalist.

The SIT is looking for Ankit’s driver Sehgar Bharathi and Sumit Jaiswal, one of the complainants in two cases registered at the Dikonia police station in connection with the October 3 incident. Based on Jaiswal’s complaint, police registered an FIR against unidentified assailants at the scene.

When contacted by The Indian Express, DIG Upendra Kumar Agarwal, who heads the SIT, confirmed that they were “looking for three people, including Ankit Das and Sehgar Bharathi and Sumit Jaiswal.” “Police teams are conducting raids for them,” Agarwal said.

According to police sources, the initial investigation revealed that Ankit Das knew Ashish Mishra – both businessmen. “But the whole picture will be clear only after Ankit Das is questioned,” sources said.

A video clip linking Ankit Das to the Lakhimpur Gary incident was released on Thursday. It shows a police officer asking questions to an injured person. In response to a question, the person describes the registration number of a vehicle as a Toyota Fortuner, claiming that it belongs to Ankit. The injured person is said to be from Lucknow and is said to be “taking care of the accounts” of Ankit Das.

Ankit Das could not be reached for comment and his cell phone was switched off on Sunday.

UP ATGP (Law and Order) Prasanth Kumar had earlier told The Indian Express that all videos related to the incident would be examined.

Sources said that before Ashish was arrested, he was questioned about his whereabouts during the incident and when people in three vehicles attacked protesters who were traveling in three vehicles to welcome UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya for a function.

They said Ashish denied being at the scene and did not know how many people went to get Maria.

According to reports, the police also questioned him about other details such as the clothes he was wearing that day. The son of Union Moss, sources said he was in his village Panveerpur for the event.

Police are now likely to confront him with the evidence they collected during the initial investigation, and are also investigating Ashish’s cell phone call details. Police are likely to collect CCTV footage from a petrol pump near the scene.

Ashish Mishra’s lawyer Avdesh Kumar Singh said there was no evidence against his client and there was no video clip confirming his whereabouts. Singh confirmed that Ashish had submitted a “pendrive containing videos and photos” to the police.



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