Saturday, August 21, 2010

BJP MP’s kin held for Jethava murder

BJP MP's kin held for Jethava murder
Times of India

The police late on Friday detained nephew of BJP MP from Junagadh Dinu Solanki's nephew Shiva Solanki on suspicion of involvement in the murder of whistleblower and green activist Amit Jethava.

Jethava was killed outside Gujarat High Court on July 20 for exposing an illegal mining racket in Gir forest area and other parts of Saurashtra, through a series of RTI applications.

Ahmedabad city crime branch, which is probing the case, first arrested a constable from Kodinar in Junagadh Bahadursinh Wadher for giving a Rs 11 lakh contract for the murder. But the man who shot Jethava, Shailesh Pandya is still on the run.

The police have arrested his accomplice Shiva Pachan, who introduced Pandya to Wadher. The police initially said that Wadher was the main accused because even his illegal mines in Gir had to be closed down because of Jethava's expose.

However now the trail seems to lead to Shiva Solanki alias Pratap, who is vicepresident of Kodinar municipality and nephew of the BJP MP.

The police have proof that Wadher had arranged for a bike from a vehicle thief named Sameer Haji Vohra. Pandya and an unidentified man came on that bike that evening and shot Jethava dead at Satyamev complex opposite Gujarat High Court.

"We are going through their mobile phone records and financial transactions to know how Wadher got the amount paid to Pandya for the murder. We have found some important evidence during our investigations in Junagadh and Rajkot," said a senior crime branch official.

The police believe that Shiva Solanki could be the mastermind behind the murder. The officials have launched an inquiry into the land holdings on disputed land affected by Jethava's RTI applications that stalled mining activities.

Solankis had a large stake in the land mining and they incurred major losses due to government action.

Sources also claimed that Shiva Solanki and Wadher had a meeting in Kodinar where talks about eliminating Jethava took place earlier in April-May. The cops from crime branch want to visit the places where the conspiracy was hatched, including Kodinar, Diu and Bagodara.

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