Former Union minister the late Akhilesh Das’s nephew Ankit Das, whose name had surfaced during the investigation of the case related to the alleged mowing down of four farmers that led to violence in Lakhimpur Kheri’s Tikunia on October 3, and his private gunner Latif alias Kaale were arrested by police on Wednesday, said senior police officials.
Meanwhile, a court in Lakhimpur Kheri denied bail to the main accused, Ashish Mishra, son of Union minister Ajay Mishra. Senior prosecution officer SP Yadav told PTI that Ashish Mishra and his alleged accomplice Ashish Pandey moved bail applications on Wednesday but they were rejected by chief judicial magistrate Chinta Ram.
The officials said Das, said to be a close friend of Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra who is the main accused in the case, along with his gunner was present with Mishra at the violence site when Mishra’s car allegedly mowed down the four farmers.
Four others, including journalist Raman Kashyap, Ashish Mishra’s driver Hari Om Mishra and two BJP workers Shyam Sunder and Shubham Mishra, were also killed during the violence broke out after mowing down of the farmers.
The court of Lakhimpur Kheri chief judicial magistrate sent the duo to 14-day judicial custody. According The court later granted three-day police custody remand of Das, his gunner Latif alias Kaale and his driver Shekhar Bharti, who was arrested on Tuesday, from Thursday morning, said a press note issued by Lakhimpur Kheri police.
The police had sought their custody saying their presence was required for the recreation of the sequence of incident at the violence site.
A police official privy to the investigation said Ankit Das was arrested after multiple hours of questioning by the investigation committee led by deputy inspector general Upendra Agarwal after he appeared before it on Wednesday morning.
He said Ankit Das, who had applied for surrender in a local court on Tuesday, appeared before the committee only a few hours after a notice directing his appearance before the police.
Before Das’s arrest, his lawyer Razi Ahmad told reporters that Das had appeared before the investigation committee after receiving the notice regarding the case. He said why one would come without being asked for it. Das’s bodyguard Latif alias Kaale had also come. “We have not come here to surrender but to cooperate in the investigation,” Ahmad said while talking to reporters in Lakhimpur Kheri.
Das’s driver Shekhar Bharati who reportedly was driving the black car behind Mishra’s car that allegedly mowed down four farmers that led to the violence was arrested earlier on Tuesday.
So far, the police have arrested six accused, including the Union MoS’s son, his two accomplices Luv Kush and Ashish Pandey, in connection with the case. The police claimed that three other accused, including Mishra’s driver and two BJP workers, were killed during the violence.
Ashish Mishra was named in an FIR following allegations that he was in one of the vehicles that mowed down four farmers protesting over UP deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s visit to Kheri on October 3. Ashish Mishra, 35, looks after the political activities of his father in his Kheri parliamentary constituency and was also vying for party ticket from Kheri’s Nighasan assembly seat to contest polls.
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