Thursday, August 19, 2010

Jethava killing: Probe points to MP’s family

Jethava killing: Probe points to MP's family
Times of India By Prashant Dayal

The supari for the killing of whistleblower and RTI activist Amit Jethava was given by a Junagadh-based politician. This the city crime branch has found in its investigations so far.

On Tuesday, the police arrested constable Bahadursinh Wadher from Kodinar in Junagadh and presented him as the person who gave the Rs 15 lakh supari for the killing. Sources in the crime branch, however, told TOI that the plot trail goes up to Shiva Solanki alias Pratap, vice-president of Kodinar municipality and nephew of BJP MP Dinu Solanki. Wadher and Solanki know each other well.

"We don't want to stop at Shiva. We will go beyond and find out the people behind the plot, for which we are seeking evidence," said an officer.

When asked about the MP's involvement, at a press conference, joint police commissioner Mohan Jha said, "I am not saying that Dinu Solanki has been given a clean chit, but I won't make a statement at this stage."

Jha told mediapersons that it was Wadher who owned up to plotting the killing and giving the supari. But the investigators believe he is covering someone and this could be Shiva. Jethava had done an expose through RTI on Shiva Solanki's land mines which almost led to the nagarpalika being superceded.

At the press conference, however, the police said that even Wadher had illegal mines in Gir which Jethava had exposed and hence he settled a score with him by killing him.

The police have detained two more persons, including Shailesh Pandya who had shot at Jethava. The activist was shot dead outside Gujarat high court by two persons on July 20.

The police have also discovered that before the murder Wadher came to Ahmedabad and stayed at a police inspector's house in east Ahmedabad to do a recce. Crime branch believes that this inspector was unaware of Wadher's motive.

The crime branch will also question an assistant commissioner of police who kept tabs on the progress of investigations in the case.

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