The Uttar Pradesh (UP) Police and the Crime Branch arrested Sumit Jaiswal, accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence of 3 October, along with three more people on Monday, 18 October.
Jaiswal, reportedly a local leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was seen running from one of the SUVs (Thar) that mowed down the farmers.
24 hours after the violence, Jaiswal had lodged a complaint in the case at the Tikunia police station in UP on 4 October, stating that the protesting farmers had attacked the vehicle that was carrying him and others, with sticks and stones.
The other First Information Report (FIR) has been filed on behalf of the deceased farmers.
Others arrested include Ankit Das's friend Nandan Singh Bisht and Satya Prakash Tripathi alias Satyam, and Scorpio driver Shishupal. A licensed revolver was also recovered from Satya Prakash.
Satya, a resident of Kaushambi, had allegedly driven one of the three SUVs. His name surfaced during the questioning of the accused Ankit Das, his chauffeur Shekhar Bharti, and security guard Lateef.
Jaiswal had earlier said that he had managed to flee from the car amid the violence, and had later learnt from social media that Hariom and Shubham Mishra had been killed in the attack.
Eight persons, including four farmers, were reported dead in Lakhimpur Kheri on 3 October. Unrest had ensued in the area after three protesting farmers had allegedly been run over by a convoy of cars, and one of the cars was purportedly driven by Union Minister Ajay Teni Misra's son.
The minister's son, Ashish Misra, was arrested in connection to the case by the police on 9 October, after he was interrogated for nearly 12 hours. Five others – Ankit Das, Luvkush Pandey, Ashish Pandey, Lateef, and Shekhar Bharti – some of whom are reportedly known to be Misra's associates, have also been sent to judicial custody along with him.
Union Minister Misra Blames Police Negligence for Lakhimpur Deaths
Union Minister Ajay Teni Misra on Sunday, 17 October, stated that the deaths of the three BJP workers during the Lakhimpur unrest are indicative of the negligence practised by the police and the administration.
"The death of the three men is unfortunate and the way the incident took place in the presence of officials shows the negligence of both the police and the administration," he was quoted as saying by Times of India.
Meanwhile, farmers' body Samyukta Kisan Morcha held nationwide protests on Monday against the farmers' deaths in Lakhimpur, and demanded the resignation and arrest of the minister.
(With inputs from Times of India and The Indian Express.)
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