Updated: October 24, 2021 4:58:38 am
The Uttar Pradesh Police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) that is probing the Lakhimpur Kheri incident of October 3 arrested three people on Saturday who were allegedly in one of the SUVs that drove into a group of protesters on October 3, killing four farmers. A journalist was also killed in the incident.
The SIT identified those arrested as Mohit Trivedi, Rinku Rana and Dharmendra, all of whom are from Lakhimpur Kheri.
With this, the number of people arrested in connection with the killing of the farmers and the journalist rose to 13.
“We have almost arrested all the accused found involved in the killing of farmers and a journalist. If any other new name comes up then we will take action against them also. We are also collecting electronic evidence against the accused,” said an SIT officer. The investigating agency produced the three before a local court that sent them to judicial custody. The court is likely to hear the SIT’s application for a 14-day custody remand of the three on Monday, said a police officer.
“Arrested persons were in the back seat of a Scorpio,” said a police officer. The other two vehicles involved in the incident were a Mahindra Thar belonging to Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra whose son Ashish is the prime accused in the case, and a Fortuner owned by Ankit Das who is the nephew of former Union minister Akhilesh Das. Both Ashish and Ankit are among those arrested.
Sources said the SIT came to know about the involvement of Trivedi, Rana and Dharmendra while questioning Shishu Pal who allegedly drove the Scorpio. The police had recovered the car in the district on Friday based on information that Shishu Pal provided.
The police refused to say who owns the Scorpio. The Mahindra Thar and the Fortuner were damaged and set ablaze in the violence triggered by the mowing down of the five people. Hari Om Mishra who died in violence was driving the Thar while Shekhar Bharti, who is among the 13 arrested, was driving the Fortuner, said a police officer. The SIT has so far got the statements of more than 20 witnesses recorded before a magistrate.
Meanwhile, the agency said it had sped up its investigation into the killing of Hari Om Mishra and two BJP workers, and added that it was recording witness statements at present. The three were killed after the cars drove over the farmers. The police recently released six photographs of the violence and requested the public to provide the police with information.
“We have received few pieces of information, and are presently verifying them,” added the SIT officer.
Ashish Mishra tests positive for dengue
Meanwhile, Ashish Mishra has tested positive for dengue, confirmed a senior police officer. Blood samples of the Union minister’s son were sent to laboratory twice for test recently.
Ashish Mishra, who was on two days police custody remand, returned to Lakhimpur Kheri jail on Saturday evening.
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