Union Home Minister Amit Shah met with his Minister of State Ajay Mishra today amid opposition calls for his sacking over allegations that his son ran over farmers in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri.
Speaking to NDTV on Tuesday, Ajay Mishra denied he was under any pressure to step down. “Why would I [resign]? There is no pressure on us, We will investigate this, and those involved, who conspired, will take action against them,” he said.
Eight persons, including four farmers were killed in Lakhimpur Kheri during a protest against Ajay Mishra’s visit to the area for a programme on Sunday.
A car in the minister’s convoy allegedly ran over protesters, and farmers allege it was driven by his son Ashish Mishra.
The UP police have filed a case of murder against Ashish Mishra but have not arrested him so far.
Though the minister has admitted that the SUV belonged to him, both he and his son Ashish Mishra have denied even being present at the spot.
“From Day One, we have been clear that the [Mahindra] Thar is ours, which is registered in our name. And the vehicle was going to receive someone after picking up our workers. My son was at another venue. From 11 am till the evening, he was organising another event. My son was present there, there were thousands there. There are photos and videos. If you take out his call records, location… can check all. Thousands of people are willing to give an affidavit also that Ashish Mishra was there,” Ajay Mishra told NDTV.
“As far as the vehicle is concerned, I was clear that my driver was killed, two workers were killed. One worker escaped, three workers are injured, and after that, the car stopped there. After that, the car was pushed and the vehicle and another Fortuner was burnt. Such people can’t be farmers. These are extremists hidden amongst farmers,” he said.
A video, apparently of the minister’s SUV ramming a group of marching farmers was widely shared on social media including by Varun Gandhi, an MP of the ruling BJP.
The video is yet to be verified by the police. NDTV cannot independently verify its authenticity. It is also not clear from the visuals who is in the driving seat.