Indian farmers gathered in the Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh (UP) on 3 October to protest against a visit by Keshav Prasad Maurya, the deputy CM of UP. Meanwhile, Ashish Mishra, son of Ajay Mishra Teni, the Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs, allegedly ran his SUV (Mahindra Thar) over the protesting farmers. It stirred unrest leading to the death of eight people, including four farmers.
In a recent development, another video related to the same incident has emerged on social media. The video shows a police officer interrogating an injured man who claims to have travelled in the convoy's second SUV (Toyota Fortuner). He said that he does clerical work with Ankit Das, nephew of late Akhilesh Das, the former Member of Parliament (MP) from the Indian National Congress (INC). He further said that he was travelling with five other people, including Ankit Das, who owned the Toyota Fortuner.
This video is being shared by BJP politicians, journalists, and media outlets to show that the Lakhimpur Kheri incident resulted from some conspiracy by INC.
Amit Malviya, the head of the IT cell of BJP, shared the video via Twitter. He captioned it in Hindi, "लखीमपुर दुर्घटना में घायल यह युवक पुलिस के सामने दावा कर रहा है कि काफिले में पूर्व कांग्रेस सांसद अखिलेश दास के भतीजे अंकित दास भी अपनी फार्च्यूनर गाड़ी में सवार थे। उत्तर प्रदेश जाने के लिए आतुर गांधी परिवार के बच्चे ये बताएँगे की कांग्रेस नेता लखीमपुर में क्या कर रहे थे?"
[English Translation: This youth injured in the Lakhimpur accident is claiming in front of the police that Ankit Das, nephew of former Congress MP Akhilesh Das, was also part of the convoy in his Fortuner car. The children of Gandhi family, eager to go to Uttar Pradesh, should tell what the Congress leaders were doing in Lakhimpur?]
Aman Chopra, the editor at Network 18, shared the video via Twitter. He captioned it in Hindi, "किसानों को रौंदने वाली गाड़ियों के काफ़िले में फॉर्च्यूनर गाड़ी में पूर्व कांग्रेस सांसद अखिलेश दास के भतीजे अंकित दास के भी होने का दावा। एक घायल शख्स ने पुलिस के सामने दावा किया है। ये घायल शख्स जान बचाकर मौके से बच कर भागा था।"
[English translation: Former Congress MP Akhilesh Das's nephew Ankit Das also claimed to be in the Fortuner car in the convoy of vehicles that trampled farmers. An injured person claimed before the police. This injured person had escaped from the spot after saving his life.]
ABP News, an official handle of the Hindi news channel, shared the video via Twitter with a similar narrative.
Ankit Das, the nephew of late Akhilesh Das, former MP from INC, owns one of the cars that ran over protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri.
The Logical Indian Fact Check team verified the claim and found it to be false.
Ankit Das is a BJP politician and is politically active in Lakhimpur Kheri. He is believed to have close relations with Ajay Mishra Teni, the MoS for Home Affairs and his son Ashish Mishra.
We looked at the Facebook profile of Ankit Das, and we could not find any pro-INC or anti-BJP content. Instead, we found a photo collage that he posted for the birthday of Ajay Mishra Teni. Ankit Das referred to Ajay Mishra as a simple-gentle, hardworking personality and his guide.
We found several Facebook posts of Ankit Das that supported BJP and its politicians. In his posts, he praised PM Narendra Modi for 'Digital India' and UP's CM Yogi Adityanath for 'Panchayat Assistant Recruitment.'
We found several photos of Ankit Das attending BJP events. The photos were posted via Twitter by Ashish Mishra and BJP Lakhimpur Khiri.
In the about section of his Facebook profile, Ajay Mishra has mentioned himself as "राष्ट्रीय उपाध्यक्ष - अखिल भारतीय वैश्य एकता परिषद" [National Vice President - All India Vaish Ekta Parishad]. It is an organisation that openly supports BJP.
According to the Aaj Tak report, several posters were put up in the district for Keshav Prasad Maurya's visit. The posters included photos of Ashish Mishra and Ankit Das as well.
To sum up, Ankit Das is a politically recognised face in the Lakhimpur Kheri district of UP and have close relations with Ajay Mishra Teni, the MoS for Home Affairs and his son Ashish Mishra. The video is being shared by BJP politicians, journalists, and media outlets with false claims to show that the Lakhimpur Kheri incident resulted from some conspiracy by INC.
Alt News has debunked this video before.
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