Friday, October 15, 2010

Amit Jethava's father seeks CBI investigation

Amit Jethava's father seeks CBI investigation

In a new twist to RTI activist Amit Jethava's murder, his father has moved a petition before the Gujarat high court seeking to hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The case at present is being investigated by the Detection of Crime Branch (DCB). Justice Akil Kureshi, after a primary hearing of the petition, asked the high court registry to place the petition before the court of the chief justice as it is already hearing the Jethava murder case. Amit Jethava, a prominent RTI and environment activist, was killed by two assailants in front of the Gujarat high court premises on July 20 this year.

Jethava was allegedly murdered because he filed a petition raising questions about illegal mining within the 5 km prohibited periphery of Gir forest. Jethava's father has alleged that the murder was carried out at the behest of Dinu Bogha Solanki, a Junagadh MP and the mining businessmen of the area.

The DCB has already arrested Dinu Solanki's nephew Shiva Solanki and others in connection with the case. Jethava's petition is pending before the chief justice and DCB has also submitted a status report of the investigation in the case.

Anand Yagnik, counsel for Bhikha Jethava, father of Amit Jethava, submitted in the petition that the prime suspect Dinu is a BJP MP and therefore the present investigating agency will not dare touch him.

Dinu is a relative of Vajubhai Vala, the state finance minister, the petition states.

Yagnik further submitted that, several people have in their statements to the police categorically stated that Dinu was the one who got Jethava killed."But till date he has not been interrogated nor has the police made an effort to ascertain his role in the case," the petition stated. It further alleged that the investigation has come to a halt after the arrest of Dinu's nephew Shiva.

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