Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Senior Jethava submits ‘proof’ of Junagadh MP’s role

Senior Jethava submits 'proof' of Junagadh MP's role
Indian Express By Hiral Dave

Slain RTI activist Amit Jethava's father Bhikhu Jethava has submitted "evidence" against BJP MP from Junagadh Dinu Solanki in connection with his son's murder to the Special Investigation Team appointed by the Gujarat High Court to probe into Solanki's role.

Bhikhu had earlier alleged that the Ahmedabad Crime Branch, which is investigating the murder, had ignored his evidence.

The evidence presented before the SIT includes Solanki's call transcripts and excerpts from his speech at a public meeting where he allegedly said he would "handle" Jethava. The details were furnished to Surendranagar Superintendent of Police Rajendra Vats, who is heading the SIT.

Amit Jethava was shot dead opposite the High Court in Ahmedabad on July 20, 2010.

According to Bhikhu, the excerpts not only reveal Solanki's interest in illegal mines in Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, but also his intention to speed up the process of land acquisition for the proposed Shapporji Pallanji power plant in Kodinar, which the slain RTI activist had opposed saying it fell into coastal regulatory zone.

"I have presented details of Solanki's calls for one month prior to Amit's murder to prove how many times he called my son," said Bhikhu. "I have also submitted call transcripts wherein Solanki can be clearly heard giving life threats to Amit. There are many such transcripts."

"First public hearing for Shapporji Pallanji project was to be held in November 2010. Before Amit could step up his protest, he was eliminated in July," Bhikhu alleged.

The Jethavas, who are based in a small village of Khambha in Amreli district, claim that former Khambha sarpanch Nirmal Rathod has testified to the SIT about the public meeting in which Solanki had said he would "handle" Jethava. The alleged meeting was held after Solanki won Kodinar seat in 2007 Assembly elections. Amit Jethava had contested for the same seat as an Independent.

Earlier, Ahmedabad Crime Branch had arrested Shiva Solanki, the MP's nephew, in the case.

The SIT was appointed by the HC in response to Jethava's plea seeking a further probe by CBI into Solanki's role in the murder.

The 32-year-old Amit Jethava was killed a fortnight after the HC had made Dinu Solanki and his nephew respondents in a public interest litigation filed by the RTI activist against illegal mines in and around Gir Wildlife Sanctuary.

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