The Uttar Pradesh Police on Monday arrested four more persons, including a BJP leader, over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reported NDTV.
"Four persons were arrested on Monday by the Crime Branch of the Lakhimpur Kheri police along with the SWAT team. The SIT investigators and other senior officials are interrogating the accused and further probe is underway," the UP police said in a statement.
Those held have been identified as Sumit Jaiswal, Shishi Pal, Satya Prakash Tripathi alias Satyam and Nandan Singh Bisht, the police said.
So far, the special investigation team (SIT) has arrested 10 persons including the key accused Ashish Mishra, Ankit Das, Ashish Pandey, Lavkush Rana, Shekhar Bharti, and Latif.
An FIR was lodged at the Tikonia police station on October 3 over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence incident in which the son of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra Teni was named as accused besides 15 to 20 unnamed persons.
According to a report by NDTV, local BJP leader Sumit Jaiswal, who was seen in a viral video escaping from the lead SUV in the convoy of vehicles that crushed the farmers, had filed an a counter-FIR. Sumit Jaiswal, a resident of Ayodhyapuri, was on his way to welcome Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya for a wrestling event at Banbirpur, the native village of the union minister, when the violence broke out.
Earlier, on October 16, Ankit Das, an accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence had been sent to judicial custody till October 22. Das was arrested on October 12 by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Uttar Pradesh Police probing the matter. A court has sent Ankit Das to police custody from October 14 to 17 and judicial custody till October 22.
Eight persons, including four farmers, were killed in the October 3 violence during a farmers' protest in the Tikonia area of the district, with the incident snowballing into a major political controversy over the alleged involvement of the Union minister's son.
Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmer unions, had alleged MoS Ajay Mishra Teni's son Ashish Mishra shot a farmer while the others were run over by the vehicles of his convoy.
However, MoS Ajay Mishra Teni refuted the allegations saying that his son was not present at the site of the incident. Ashish reiterated the same and refuted SKM's allegations.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI)