This Article is From Oct 06, 2021

Minister Won't Resign: Government Sources On 'Killer' SUV Charges

Lakhimpur-Kheri Violence: 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.

Lakhimpur kheri: Junior Home Minister Ajay Mishra meets Home Minister Amit Shah.

New Delhi:

Junior minister Ajay Mishra today met with Union Home Minister Amit Shah amid opposition calls for his sacking over allegations that his son ran over farmers in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday. Top government sources, however, ruled out his resignation.

Sources said Mr Mishra had clarified "not once but twice" that neither he nor his son was present at the site of the violence.

Speaking to NDTV yesterday, Mr Mishra had denied 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 had said.

Eight people, including four farmers, were killed in Lakhimpur Kheri during a protest against Mr Mishra's visit on Sunday.

A car in the minister's convoy allegedly ran over protesters. 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 admits the SUV belongs to him, he says his son was not in it.

"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," Mr 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 were 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.

The Minister of State for Home sat in his first-floor office at the North Block in Delhi for about half an hour before visiting Amit Shah at his home.