As polling continues in the fourth phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni on Tuesday, 22 February, was escorted by scores of police personnel as he went to cast his vote in Lakhimpur Kheri.
Videos of the same being circulated on social media show an armour of security personnel around Teni at a polling booth in Banwaripur, as reporters launch a volley of questions in his direction. The minister, while refusing to respond to the queries about his son Ashish Mishra, flashes a 'V' (for victory) sign with his fingers.
MoS Mishra had come under the fire last year after his son was named the prime suspect in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence that had led to the deaths of four farmers.
Eight people, including four farmers protesting against the Centre's contentious agricultural laws, were killed in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri in October 2021, after being run over by a convoy of cars. Ashish Mishra, whose SUV car was part of the convoy, had been arrested on murder charges.
The Allahabad High Court on 10 February had granted bail to Ashish, who had been in jail since 10 October 2021.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Uttar Pradesh Police, which has been probing the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, had filed a charge sheet in January 2022 against the 14 accused in the case involving Ashish Mishra. The charge sheet spans approximately 5,000 pages, and calls the incident a 'pre-planned conspiracy.'