LUCKNOW, India – Indian police have arrested the son of a junior minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government just days after nine people were killed in a deadly escalation of year-long protests by thousands of farmers against controversial agricultural laws in northern India. Arrested on suspicion. , Said a police officer.
A car owned by junior Home Minister Ajay Mishra rammed into a group of protesting farmers, killing four, officials and farm leaders said.
Farm leaders alleged that Mishra’s son was in the car when he ran over the protesters, but Mishra denied this. Its driver and three members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, who were in a car, were beaten to death by protesters in the ensuing violence.
Police officer Apinder Agrawal said on Saturday that Ashish Mishra was arrested after a day-long interrogation in the city as he had “failed to present any supporting evidence to prove that he was in the three vehicles”. There weren’t the ones that were run by the mob that killed the farmers. Four of them. ”
His father, Ajay Mishra, said his son was innocent and was not present.
The arrest comes a day after India’s Supreme Court criticized the state government for failing to arrest Ashish Mishra, against whom police are investigating a murder case. On Friday, Mishra waited for hours before sending a message to police that he was ill and could not recover.
Farmers leader Darshan Pal and Congress opposition leader Akhilesh Singh demanded the removal of their father from the Modi government.
Earlier this week, police said they had arrested six people in connection with the deaths of four farmers and had registered a criminal complaint against 14 others, including the minister’s son. The BJP has also lodged a criminal complaint against the farmers over the deaths of its members and car driver, said Arvind Chorasia, a senior official in charge of the district.
Police also said they found the body of a local journalist who was tortured Sunday but did not provide further details on how he was killed.
Ongoing protests against agricultural laws have escalated into violence, with farmers saying their livelihoods will be ruined. Protests have been going on since the government passed the laws last September and have been the biggest challenge for Modi.