The son of a Union minister, accused of crushing farmers in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday, is yet to be arrested, amid video and conflicting versions of the incident, in which eight people were killed.
A local BJP leader Sumit Jaiswal, seen in a video leaving the SUV that allegedly crushed protesting farmers, claimed that the protesters attacked the convoy of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra and not the other side. .
He has alleged that his driver, friend and two BJP workers were lynched and later found out through social media. In the FIR lodged three days after the incident, he said that he was in the SUV along with his friend Shubham and driver Hariom when the car was attacked by the protesters. They claim that the driver was injured and attacked with sticks and swords.
This is the second FIR after the families of the deceased farmers lodged a previous case accusing Union minister’s son Ashish Mishra of crushing the farmers.
In the viral video, Sumit Jaiswal was seen running away from the Thar SUV, which was hitting the protesters from behind. The clip also shows a man crushed under the left rear wheel.
Many initially assumed that Jaiswal was Ashish Mishra, and shared the video as proof that he was in the car, contrary to what he and his father had claimed.
The BJP councilor said, “Yes, I am the man in the video. We were attacked by farmers… I somehow survived.”
In another video, which is yet to be confirmed, Thar is shown marching on the road leading to the convoy on the back of a group of protesters raising slogans.
But Jaiswal claimed that the car was not moving, and it was the protesters who attacked the convoy.
“We were at the venue. There was an atmosphere of fear. They were armed with sticks and rocks and they kept attacking us, abusing us,” he said. Jaiswal said, “Slogans of Khalistan Zindabad were also raised. They got on the car.”
According to him, then they stopped the car and fled.
“In the video you see (the car is running over the protesters), the car was parked and the protesters were continuously attacking us. How can we drive through the crowd? I was lucky to survive.. .It was terrible. BJP workers were beaten to death,” he said.
“The ones you are calling farmers were actually troublemakers and attacking us.”
When asked about the visuals of a man being crushed under an SUV – suggesting that the car did indeed crush several people – Jaiswal replied: “I was in a hurry to save my life. Didn’t notice. Men.”