A court in Lakhimpur Kheri sent Ashish Mishra, son of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra, to 14-day judicial custody in connection with the October 3 violence.
Ashish Mishra was arrested on Saturday night following over 11 hours of questioning, a day after the Supreme Court expressed dissatisfaction over the state government's action in the case.
Farmer leaders and opposition parties had been demanding Mishra's arrest but the minister and his son had denied the allegations. Ashish Mishra, who is known as 'Monu Bhaiya' in the area, spent the night in the district jail. He had appeared before the SIT at around 10.30 am on Saturday after a second summons was served to him the previous day when he did not turn up for interrogation. He was arrested at around 11 pm after being grilled by the SIT at the crime branch office in the Police Lines.
Aged around 35, Ashish Mishra looks after the political activities of his father in his Kheri Parliamentary constituency. The Supreme Court had on Friday questioned the non-arrest of the accused, directed preservation of evidence and mulled transferring the probe to another agency.
Without mincing words, a bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana had said, the law must take its course against all accused and the government has to take all remedial steps in this regard to inspire confidence in the investigation of brutal murder of eight persons. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), which is spearheading the agitation against the Centre's three farm laws, had alleged that the violence was held under a pre-planned conspiracy and demanded the arrest of the minister and his son.
The farmer unions said if the government does not accept their demands by October 11, they will take out a 'Shaheed Kisan Yatra' from Lakhimpur Kheri with the ashes of slain farmers. The SKM has also given a call for a rail roko protest across the country from 10 am to 4 pm on October 18 and a mahapanchayat in Lucknow on October 26.
After two men were arrested on Thursday in the case, police had put up a notice outside Ashish Mishra's house asking him to appear before it.
DIG Upendra Agarwal, who is heading the special investigation team (SIT) of Uttar Pradesh Police probing the case, told reporters that Ashish Mishra was not cooperating during the interrogation.
(Edited by : Aditi Gautam)
First Published: IST