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Guj HC orders further probe into RTI activist Jethva's murder

Source: PTI
October 19, 2011 19:41 IST
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The Gujarat high court on Wednesday ordered further probe into the murder of Right To Information activist Amit Jethva in view of allegations made by his father.

A division bench of Justices D H Waghela and J C Upadhyay ordered further investigation following the allegations. The court also ordered that the probe be supervised by an Indian Police Service officer of the rank of additional director general of police and the report be submitted by November 28.

Jethva's father Bhikha had filed a petition in the high court, seeking probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation or any other independent agency, in October 2010.

In the petition he had alleged that BJP member of Parliament from Junagadh, Dinu Solanki, was behind the killing, and the city crime branch was not conducting an impartial probe. The next hearing in the matter is scheduled for November 29, when the final order in the case is expected to be passed. Jethva was shot dead by two assailants near the Gujarat high court on July 20, 2010.

Bhikha has also alleged that he and his son had received several threats from Solanki. The petition said Solanki could influence the probe. He has also said that he does not trust the city crime branch, as some of its former members have been implicated in fake encounter cases, like the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case.

The crime branch has so far arrested six persons, including Solanki's nephew Pratap alias Shiva Solanki, who has been named as the prime accused, and a constable from Junagadh, Bahadursinh Vadher. The other accused are Sanjay Chauhan, Pancha Shiva, Udaji Thakor and Shailesh Pandya However, the crime branch has maintained that there is no link between the murder and the MP.

According to the chargesheet, Vadher and Shiva conspired to eliminate Jethva because he was proving to be troublesome as he was using RTI to get information and file complaints against illegal mining, which affected the accused's business. They hired Pandya to kill Jethva, who shot the activist from point blank range in front of the high court while he was coming out of his lawyer's office.

The RTI activist had filed a public interest litigation only a few days before his murder.



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