After 8 people, including four farmers, were killed on Sunday as violence erupted during a farmers' protest in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri, the opposition parties are demanding action against Union Minister Ajay Mishra's son Ashish Mishra, whose name has been mentioned in the FIR and is being accused by the protesting farmers that he was present in the car that crushed their protesting colleagues.
According to FIR copy accessed by India TV, it says, "On 3 October 2021, all the farmers and workers were peacefully demonstrating near Maharaja Agrasen Inter College, Sports Ground, Tikunia, to show black flags against Union Minister of State for Home, Ajay Mishra and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya."
"The incident happened at 3 PM when Ajay Mishra's son Ashish Mishra aka Monu came at high speed from Banveerpur with 15-20 unidentified people in 3-4 vehicles. Ashish Mishra, who was sitting on the left side of his Mahindra Thar car, fired while trampling the crowd. Due to this, farmer Gurvinder Singh (22-year-old) died of bullet injuries. The car then trampled the farmers standing on both sides of the road at a high speed. Two vehicles with registration number UP31AS 1000 and UP32 KM 0036 and an unknown vehicle of Ashish Mishra overturned.. due to which many passers-by were seriously injured. Ashish Mishra while firing escaped in sugarcane farms... so far four farmers have died in the incident."
However, Union Minister Ajay Mishra has refuted allegations that his son Ashish Mishra was involved in the incident at Lakhimpur Kheri and said that three BJP workers and a driver were beaten to death by "some elements" present among the protesting farmers there.
He also said that the protesters first pelted stones on the vehicles of BJP workers due to which his driver lost control of the vehicle leading to the accident.
Some opposition leaders and farmer unions have alleged that the protesting farmers were run over by Mishra's son. Mishra said his son was not present at the spot and he has photographic and video evidence to prove it.
"My son was present at the venue of the (UP deputy chief minister's) event and thousands of people, officers of the administration and police were present there," he said.
He said the incident happened when some BJP workers were going to receive UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya who had come to attend an event at Lakhimpur Kheri.
"Some elements in farmers, who were protesting, showed black flags and pelted stones on the car which turned turtle. Two farmers came under the car and died."
"Three BJP workers and the driver of the car were beaten to death by some people present there," he said.
"Had he (Ashish) been in that car, he would not have been alive today," the minister said, adding two vehicles were torched and their driver was killed by the mob.
Asked if there were any intelligence inputs about the incident, he said that there was information about peaceful protests, and termed the incident as a "betrayal".
There were anti-social elements in the farmers' agitation, who made efforts to make the agitation violent, he said.
"The farmers organisation must take this incident very seriously, as anarchists are trying to create instability in the country. We have to be alert, and identify them," he said.
He also claimed that extremist organisations like the Babbar Khalsa have infiltrated into the farmers' protest.
"Over 10 party workers are seriously injured and have been hospitalised," he said. The minister's son Ashish Mishra also said that he was not present at the site.
"Our cars were torched and workers were attacked. So many of our workers are still missing. Would I be standing here if I had been in one of the cars," he told mediapersons.
Eight people were killed in the violence on Sunday during a protest by farmers who are agitating against the Centre's three agri laws.
(With inputs from PTI)