Oct 10, 2021 - World

Police arrest Indian minister's son after deadly protests

Farmers shout carry effigies to burn with the pictures of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others during a protest in Lakhimpur Kheri, on October 5, 2021 in Amritsar, India.
Farmers carry effigies to burn with the pictures of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others during a protest in Amritsar, India, this month. Photo: Sameer Sehgal/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Police in India said Saturday they've arrested the son of a junior minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government after nine people died during protests against new farming laws, per AP.

The big picture: It's the latest escalation in massive ongoing demonstrations against the laws, which were introduced in 2020 to deregulate India's agriculture. Farmers say it's driven down crop prices and benefits big corporations.

Details: Officials said a car belonging to junior home minister Ajay Mishra "ran over" a crowd of protesters in Lakhimpur Kheri, a town in Uttar Pradesh state last Sunday, killing four farmers, AP notes.

  • The minister denied farm leaders accusations that his son Ashish Mishra was in the car at the time. Police said Ashish Mishra failed to provide evidence during daylong questioning that he wasn't there, according to AP.
  • The minister said protesters beat to death his driver and three members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, who were in the vehicle, Al Jazeera reports.
  • Police also recovered the body of a local journalist from the scene, though they've yet to disclose details of his death.
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