Claims circulating online that one of the three SUVs responsible for the violence that ensued in Lakhimpur belongs to a Congress leader are false, reports fact-checking platform AltNews. On Sunday, three vehicles ran over a group of farmer protestors in Tikunia in Lakhimpur Kheri, killing four protestors. Eyewitnesses have claimed that Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra's son Ashish Mishra was in one of the vehicles.
The claims that a Congress leader was part of the convoy have been doing rounds after a video of a policeman interrogating a man emerged. The man claims that he was sitting in the second car, a Toyota Fortuner, which had five occupants, and that the car belongs to Ankit Das. Ankit is the nephew of late former Congress MP Akhilesh Das, who was in the BSP before that. The video is being circulated alleging a Congress conspiracy in the incident. It was also shared by BJP leaders, including Amit Malviya and Priti Gandhi. Journalists Aman Chopra, Himanshu Mishra, and media platforms ABP News and Dainik Bhaskar have also shared the same. "What were Congress leaders doing in Lakhimpur?" Amit Malviya tweeted suggestively.
However, Ankit Das is a BJP supporter, AltNews reports. Posters with photos of Ashish Mishra and Ankit Das were put up at several places in Lakhimpur on October 3, ahead of the arrival of Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya. Das himself had posted a picture on the occasion of Union Minister Ajay Mishra's birthday and claimed him a 'guide'. He also seems close to Ashish Mishra, whom he refers to as a 'dear friend' in one of his posts.
Ankit Das's Facebook profile documents his political activities with the BJP. BJP Lakhimpur's Twitter account, too, have uploaded pictures of Ankit at BJP events. He himself identifies as Vice President of Akhil Bharatiya Vaishya Ekta Parishad, a right-wing organisation supportive of the BJP.