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Indian police arrest minister's son accused of killing farmers

Son of junior home minister nabbed days after convoy ploughed into protesting farmers, leaving several dead

Ahmad Adil   | 10.10.2021
Indian police arrest minister's son accused of killing farmers

NEW DELHI

Police in northern India arrested the son of the country's junior home minister on Saturday, days after a convoy of cars, including one owned by the official, ploughed into protesting farmers, killing four.

Ashish Mishra, the son of junior Home Minister Ajay Mishra, was arrested late Saturday after questioning that lasted the entire day, said police in Uttar Pradesh state.

Upendra Agarwal, a senior Uttar Pradesh police officer, confirmed to reporters that Ashish was arrested as he failed to cooperate during the questioning related to the case.

The leaders of the farmers' protests accuse Ashish of intentionally being behind the deadly incident that occurred on Oct. 3 in the Lakhimpur Kheri district, after which violence broke out that left four more people dead. However, he and his father denied the allegations and have claimed that he was not present at the site.

After protests by the farmers, the police registered a murder case against Ashish.

Demands for the arrest of the minister's son have grown since the incident, with protests cropping up in several other areas, as well. It is seen as a deadly escalation of Indian farmers' year-long protests against three farm laws enacted by the government .

Earlier in the day, farmer groups said they would block trains on Oct. 18 and hold a Maha Panchayat, or grand village council, on Oct. 26 to protests the eight deaths.

The Supreme Court, hearing a public interest litigation on the case, said Friday that it was "not satisfied with the steps taken" by the state government.

Farmers from different parts of the country, especially Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at Delhi's borders since last November, demanding the three agricultural laws' repeal.

In January, the top court ordered the implementation of the laws be put on hold until further notice.


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