Thursday, July 22, 2010

Slain RTI activist's dad says BJP MP to blame

Slain RTI activist's dad says BJP MP to blame
Times of India

A day after green activist Amit Jethava was killed outside the Gujarat high court, investigators have got clues to suggest that it was a contract killing carried out by goons from Saurashtra region.

The victim's father, Bhikhu Jethava, on Tuesday said: "I suspect Junagadh BJP MP Dinu Solanki for the murder of my son, who had recently submitted an affidavit to the Kodinar police expressing fear that he may be killed by Solanki. My son had filed an RTI application and also a PIL in the Gujarat HC against Solanki."

Jethava was gunned down at 8.45pm soon after he came out of the bar council's office in Satyamev complex — opposite the HC — to get into his car. According to Sola police station officers, the assailants had come on a bike and shot him with a country-made revolver. "We have got some clues from the scene of crime. Different teams have been constituted and sent to Junagadh to track the killers," said HM Kundaliya, inspector of Sola police station. "Eyewitnesses said Jethava tried to catch the two killers. A scuffle ensued and the duo fled the spot, leaving their bike and one of the pistols. The bike's number is fake," said a police officer.

Jethava was a former government employee who had been suspended for some irregularities. He turned into a wildlife activist based in Dhari, and established the Gir Nature Club. Eventually, he ventured into other areas of environmental activism and used RTI Act to dig out information about wrongdoing committed by industries and officials.

Till about 2005, Jethava used to travel from Dhari to Ahmedabad in a bus to meet his lawyers through whom he used to fight several environment-related cases. However, in recent times, he had purchased an office and residential apartment in Ahmedabad and used to travel in his personal vehicle.

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