Constable held for Gujarat RTI activist’s killing

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

AHMEDABAD - A police constable has been arrested and two people have been detained in connection with the murder of right to information (RTI) activist and environmentalist Amit Jethwa here July 20, police said Tuesday.

Joint Commissioner of Police (crime branch) Mohan Jha told reporters here that constable Bahadursinh Vadher has been arrested in connection with the murder.

Two other people were being questioned under detention, he said.

The detained people were identified as Pachkan, a friend of the policeman, and Shailesh, a suspected contract killer.

For the crime, Vadher had borrowed Haji Rasul Vora’s motorcycle, which was recovered from the scene of the crime outside Gujarat High Court, police said.

According to Jha, Shailesh had reportedly taken a contract from the policeman for Rs.11 lakh to kill Jethwa.

Vadher had brought a piece of land for limestone mining but had to sell it off because of losses sustained due to his inability to mine following Jethwa’s activism.

Following Jethwa’s efforts, the high court intervened and ordered a survey of all the illegal mines in the region.

Vadher then decided to kill Jethwa and the contract killing was assigned to a man with a criminal record, police said.

Jha declined to comment on the involvement of Bharatiya Janata Party MP representing Junagadh, Dinu Solanki, who was named by Jethwa’s journalist father as the man responsible for his son’s death.

Solanki, who has extensive mining interests in the region, threatened Jethwa on more than one occasion, according to the activist’s complaints registered with police.

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