Union Interior Minister Ajay Mishra on Wednesday allegedly called journalists “thieves” and pushed one of them as they sought his comment to the Uttar Pradesh Police SIT, which charged his imprisoned son Ashish during further IPC sections in connection with the violence on 3 October i Lakhimpur Kheri.
Mishra’s son is among the 13 people arrested in connection with the killing of four farmers and a journalist in Tikonia in the district.
Mishra was inaugurating an oxygen plant in the oil city of Lakhimpur Kheri on Wednesday when the alleged fight took place. Several videos of the incident surfaced on social media.
#WATCH | MoS Home Ajay Kumar Mishra ‘Teni’ throws assault on a journalist who asked a question related to charges against his son Ashish in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case. pic.twitter.com/qaBPwZRqSK
– ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) December 15, 2021
Talking to Indian Expresssaid TV journalist Naveen Awasthi, who works for ABP News and was reportedly pushed by the minister, “There was the inauguration of Minister Ajay Mishra Teni today. Several journalists were there. I asked him about the oxygen plant, which he inaugurated, and then asked I told him about the further charges against his son. When I asked him about it, he got angry and started using an insulting language. He grabbed my microphone and tried to take my cell phone. He took the cell phone from a fellow TV reporter, “who has not been returned. He chased the journalist to beat him. We left the place from a side exit.”
In a video, Mishra is reportedly heard telling Awasthi: “Aisa hai, bewakofi ke sawaal mat kara karo, dimag kharab hai kya? (Do not ask me stupid questions. Have you lost your mind?)”
In another video, the minister is reportedly heard telling reporters: “Poocho. Chargesheet lag gayi hai? SIT se poocho jaa kar na. Aise jo tumhare media waale hain na, yahi… choron ne ek nirdosh aadmi ke liye bataya. Sharam nahi aati hai? ( Ask me. Has the indictment been filed? Go and ask SIT. Your media people who are thieves have said this about an innocent person. Do you not feel ashamed?).
The minister is also seen pushing for journalists in the videos.
A group of journalists has submitted a note to the district judge, which is addressed to President Ram Nath Kovind.
“We have submitted a memorandum to the district administration seeking protection of journalists so that such an incident does not recur. The memorandum has been signed by hundreds of journalists in Lakhimpur Kheri. No police file has been filed yet, “said Awasthi.
The memorandum reads: “When journalist Awasthi asked the minister about violence in Tikonia, the Union’s foreign minister pushed the journalist and said that all media people are villains and that they work to hit innocent people. He pushed them and took a journalist’s mobile phone “We urge you to take action against Ajay Mishra Teni and ensure the safety of journalists.”
On Tuesday, a local court, while building the case against the minister’s son and the 12 other defendants in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, had accepted several new charges raised by the renewed SIT, including the charge of attempted murder, even as the SIT presented. that the killing of four farmers and a journalist on October 3 was a “planned conspiracy”.
On Monday, the SIT had filed in the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court that the killings “did not happen due to negligence or hardship” and that the actions of the accused were “intentional with intent to kill”.
Despite repeated attempts, Minister Mishra could not be reached for comment.