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Lucknow: 

A murder case has been filed against Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Kumar Mishra’s son for allegedly running a car over protesting farmers in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri. Several other people have also been named in the First Information Report (FIR). Four farmers were among eight people killed in the incident.

The farmers had assembled to block the visit of the two ministers, upset over a recent speech by Mr Mishra. Late last month, Mr Mishra had brushed off the protests against the farm laws, saying it was a protest of “10-15 people and it would take just two minutes to make them fall in line”.

“The farmers had planned to gherao the helipad to stop the arrival of the ministers. Once that ended and most people were on way back, three cars came… and mowed down the farmers… one farmer died on the spot and another in the hospital,” said Dr Darshan Pal, a leader of the farmers’ union, adding that the minister’s son was in the car.

Minister Ajay Mishra has denied that his son, Ashish Mishra, was linked to the violence.

“My son wasn’t present at the spot. There were miscreants who attacked workers with sticks and swords. Had my son been there, he wouldn’t have come out alive,” Mr Mishra, the junior Home Minister, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. “My son was present at the venue of the (Deputy Chief Minister’s) event… all through, I was accompanying the deputy chief minister,” he said.

Mobile internet services were suspended in parts of the violence-hit district, where restrictions under CrPC section 144, which prohibits assembly of four or more people, has also been imposed, according to officials.

The UP Police took to Twitter early on Monday to describe the incident as “unfortunate” and said eight casualties have been reported till now as per the district administration.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait along with several supporters reached the violence-hit UP district early this morning.

Mr Tikait said the future course of action will be done on the basis of the discussion with the villagers and farmers.

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