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Lakhimpur Kheri: Alleged SUV Driver Arrested; Ashish Mishra Questioned By Crime Branch

Shekhar Bharti is the fourth person to be arrested in the case. Earlier, police had arrested Ashish Mishra, Luvkush and Ashish Pandey in connection with the violence.

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New Delhi: Police in Lakhimpur Kher on Tuesday arrested one more person in connection with the violence that left eight people –including four protesting farmers and a journalist – dead and produced him in a court, which sent him to 14-day judicial custody.

Shekhar Bharti, the arrested accused, was allegedly driving one of the three SUVs that mowed down protesting farmers on October 3, Indian Express reported. He was reportedly driving a black Fortuner owned by Ankit Das, a close aide of Union minister Ajay Kumar Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra.

Bharti is the fourth person to be arrested in the case. Earlier, police had arrested Ashish Mishra, Luvkush and Ashish Pandey in connection with the violence.

In another development, two people – Ankit Das and Latif – moved an application for surrender at the court of the chief judicial magistrate. Ankit is the nephew of late former minister Akhilesh Das.

When asked who they are, senior prosecution officer S.P. Yadav told PTI that the prosecution has sought a report from the police station regarding their status in connection with the Tikonia violence FIR. Police will be telling about them and their involvement in their report, he added.

Ashish Mishra was arrested after 12 hours of questioning late on Saturday night. On Tuesday morning, he was taken to the Lakhimpur Kheri Crime Branch office for questioning.

Before his arrest, opposition parties and farmers’ leaders had accused the UP administration of going easy on him because of his position in the BJP. They have also demanded that Ajay Mishra be removed from the Union home ministry.

(With PTI inputs)