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Amit Jethwa: RTI Activist shot dead in Gujarat

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karira

Just got the news that RTI Activist Mr Amit Jethwa was shot dead this evening in Gujarat.

Will update more later.

 

Members, there have been too many incidents like this in the recent past.

Remember, that RTI Act enables citizens only to get "information".

It does not offer you any protective shield.

 

You can read more about Amit Jethwa here:

 

amit jethwa - Google Search

 

amit jethva - Google Search

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karira

As reported by PTI in dnaindia.com on 20 July 2010:

RTI activist shot dead near Gujarat high court - dnaindia.com

 

RTI activist shot dead near Gujarat high court

 

Ahmedabad: A prominent Right to Information (RTI) activist, who had filed a PIL against illegal mining in Gir forest region, was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen opposite Gujarat high court in Ahmedabad today, police said.

 

Amit Jethwa was shot from a close range by the assailants who fled on a motorcycle after the incident, they said.

 

Police inspector HM Kundaliya said Jethwa died on the spot after he was shot.

 

"His body was being sent for postmortem and search for the assailants was on," Kundaliya told PTI.

 

Jethwa was very active in the conservation of wildlife, especially lions, in the Gir area. He has also helped the police solve some cases relating to lion poaching.

 

Jethwa had recently filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the high court against illegal mining in the Gir region of Junagadh district which is considered the last abode of Asiatic lions in the world.

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karira

As reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 21 July 2010:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/6193952.cms

 

Green activist shot dead near High Court

 

AHMEDABAD: An environmental activist, Amit Jethava, was shot dead outside the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday night. The incident took place at 8.45pm when Jethava, who had come out of the bar council’s office in Satyamev complex — situated opposite the High Court — was getting into his car. According to the Sola police station officials, the assailants had come on a bike and shot him with a crude revolver.

 

"Two assailants, each armed with a country-made revolver, were waiting next to Jethava’s car," said a police official who is investigating the case. "One of them shot him in the back. Eyewitnesses say Jethava turned back and lunged at the bikers. A scuffle ensued and the duo fled the spot on foot, leaving their motorbike and dropping one of the revolvers. The bike’s number is fake."

 

Sniffer dogs were put to work and the trail led towards Jethava’s house at Vishwas City in Ghatlodia. On the way, cops found two 12-bore cartridges and a slipper.

 

Jethava was a former government employee who had been suspended for some irregularities. He turned into a wildlife activist based in Dhari, and established the Gir Nature Club. Eventually, he ventured into other areas of environmental activism and used the Right to Information (RTI) Act to dig out information about wrongdoings committed by industries and officials. Critics have pointed out that he was dubious in his dealings and often used to blackmail certain industries and officers.

 

Till about 2005, Jethava used to travel from Dhari to Ahmedabad in a bus to meet his lawyers through whom he used to fight several environment-related cases. However, in recent times, he had purchased an office and residential apartment in Ahmedabad and used to travel in his personal vehicle.

 

According to the police, Jethava, a native of Khamba in Amreli district, had recently locked horns with people indulging in illegal limestone mining in Kodinar.

 

"Jethava was dead soon after the incident. We have set up checkpoints to look for the suspects and block exits," said HM Kundaliya, an inspector of the Sola police station.

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karira

As reported in expressindia.com on 21 July 2010:

RTI activist shot dead near HC - Express India

 

RTI activist shot dead near HC

 

Ahmedabad Prominent wildlife and RTI activist Amit Jethva was shot dead opposite the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday evening by two motorcycle-borne men while he was coming out after meeting his lawyer. The incident occurred outside the Gujarat Bar Council office.

 

Jethva had filed several PILs and RTI applications, the latest being in connection with illegal mining in Gir Wildlife Sanctuary.

 

The incident occurred when Jethva, after meeting his lawyer Vijay Nangesh in his first-floor office at Satyamev Complex, stepped out around 8.45 pm and was getting into his vehicle parked near the complex. According to eye-witnesses, two men on a motorbike parked nearby fired at him from a close range. After being hit, Jethva ran after his assailants but succumbed to his injuries. The two men left the motorcycle and a country-made firearm on the spot and fled towards Vishwa City in the neighbourhood.

 

Top police officers rushed to the spot and recovered the firearm and two unused cartridges. Police suspect it could be contract killing and are questioning his lawyer.

 

The 33-year-old activist had filed several RTI applications based on which he would also file PILs. Key amongst them were the one for the appointment of Lokayukta, another for appointment of two more RTI commissioners and a third that questioned the promotion of a forest official.

 

Hailing from Amreli district’s Khambha village located on the periphery of Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, Jethva, a suspended government teacher, was also the founder of Gir Nature Youth Club. After having run an aggressive campaign on several environment issues, many a time involving celebrities or top politicians, he became a member of State Wild Life Advisory Board.

 

In 2007 Assembly polls, he contested as an Independent from Kodinar in Junagadh district raising environment and wildlife issues.

 

Among the many cases Jethva had filed in lower and high courts, one was against Aamir Khan for alleged use of chinkara and later killing it for Lagaan, a film the actor also produced.

 

Recently, Jethva had filed a PIL in the HC in connection with illegal mining in Gir Wildlife Sanctuary and has made BJP MP from Junagadh Dinu Solanki as one of the respondents.

 

It was only two years ago that the activist shifted base to Ahmedabad. He is survived by his wife and two children.

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karira

As reported by Japan K Pathak in deshgujurat.com on 20 July 2010:

Gujarat | DeshGujarat.Com

 

Amit Jethwa was a force, rare in this time, his murder is shocking

 

4813863866_4c882cfc41_b.jpg

 

Point blank murder of activist Amit Jethwa is shocking news, and I am personally shocked. Jethwa’s murder has shocked me to the level same as Haren Pandya’s or Pankaj Trivedi’s murder.

 

Jethwa was amazing force by himself. I met him first time in year 2005 when he called me for an exclusive and interesting elephant story. An elephant with badly injured foot was treated cruelly in local circus and therefore rescued by forest department thanks to efforts employed by Amit Jethwa. Jethwa continued to be with the elephant till its proper relocation. After the story published well in newspaper, Jethwa became my regular source. A young tall well built Amit Jethwa was one single source for many journalists like me wanting to know anything and everything about Gir forest. Jethwa was one stop resource for any information regarding Gir forest and forest department’s handling of affairs there. He had amazing grip over South western Saurashtra areas, especially ecological and environment related issues. He would SMS and inform all friend journalists when incident of wood cutting, illegal mining, suspicious death of lion, leopard, forest fire etc occur. We journalists use to have our own mechanism to rigorously check whether our source is genuine or a blackmailer misusing us. Amit too passed through this process, but every time I could sum up that his fight against anti-environment people, corrupt establishment etc was genuine. He once said me that he was a natural fighter and that was the activity he was liking and therefore doing. He said he had drug shop in Una, and that was the mode of his survival. While his employees could look after the drug store, he could spare time to do activism.

 

RTI(Right to information), PIL(Public interest litigation), SMS(Short messaging service), Email were Jethwa’s tools. He had organized a nature lovers yatra in southern Saurashtra belt. Be it about saving marine turtles, or Chinkara, lion, leopard, tree, birds or crocodile, Jethwa was there at service in Kutch, Saurashtra and Ahmedabad. The elephant case I referred above originated from Bharuch in central Gujarat. Jethwa had filed cases against Salman Khan and Aamir Khan for alleged Chinkara killings. A case against Aamir Khan is still going on in Gujarat High Court, and every development in this regard was informed to us through SMS.

 

Amit Jethwa fought an election also on his own, but lost. Jethwa shifted his base to Ahmedabad only some months back. He called me up and invited to have tea at his new home in Ahmedabad. I sought his guidance about how to use RTI as tool in my profession – journalism. Since then, I was not in touch with him,barring just incoming smses and sometime email.

 

Just yesterday evening, I received Amit Jethwa’s SMS in my mobile phone: “Gir Nature Youth Club ni rajuat bad 1 mahina pahela Junagadh Jilla na Kodinar taluka ma Gir border area na Alidar-Sanvav road par Geology ane police joint raid ma belastone kava ni machinery sahit no mudamal 6odavi janara par FIR. Geologist Mr. Muley(Phone number) Kodinar Police(Phone number)”

 

Translation of the SMS: After Gir Nature Youth Club’s representation, FIR has filed against those who snatched away belastone cutting machinery and other seized material that was captured during police and geology department’s joint raid one month back on Alidar-Sanvav road of Gir border area in Junagadh district’s Kodinar tauka. Geologist Mr. Muley(Phone number) Kodinar Police(Phone number).

 

Reading this SMS, I thought for a moment that Jethwa had gone too far and powerful mining lobby literally ‘uncontrollable’ in Saurashtra, will not tolerate any disturbance in their work. And today evening I heard, he has been killed by two unidentified persons on bike near Gujarat High Court. Jethwa was on visit to Satyamev building to meet advocate. When he came out, there were two persons waiting for him with Bajaj Discover bike(having scooty number). Before Jethwa sat in his Gypsy car, he was shot dead. Even after facing bullet injury, Jethwa tried to nab the culprits. Those who fired, fled, leaving their bike and one desi pistol there. Jethwa was taken to nearby Sola hospital, but it was too late. Look at the irony, the building at which Jethwa was killed was ‘Satyamev’. Just like Haren Pandya, and Pankaj Trivedi, Jethwa didn’t keep weapon for self protection with him. Ahmedabad Police has found a desi pistol on the spot and some rounds some distance away. The investigation is on, but whatever happen now, we can’t bring Amit the activist back. Amit was irreplaceable. He was a force, rare in this time. He was not facebook or twitter or blogger activist, he was an activist on ground equipped with all needed tools to fight for truth. His murder is very shocking. He could do more for Gujarat. It’s a tremendous loss.

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jps50

ePaper Lite - Times of India Publications

 

TIMES OF INDIA AHMEDABAD EDN 21-07-2010

 

Jethava a champion of environment issues

 

Ahmedabad: It was on Saturday last that activist Amit Jethava had helped a team of geology and mining department file an FIR with Kodinar police against illegal limestone miners. The miners had recently looted mining equipment seized during a raid and Jethava had spearheaded a campaign against illegal mining in his area.

He shifted base to Ahmedabad a year ago. Jethava, apart from being an environment activist, had forayed into Right to Information (RTI) issues. He had started an RTI information desk in Khamba taluka in Amreli district.

Be it lion poaching,illegal mining, the famous Aamir Khan-chinkara poaching case, the appointment of information commissioners in Gujarat Jethava used RTI and public interest litigations (PIL) as weapons to fight for public issues. In his latest case Jethava had dragged the state government to Gujarat High Court regarding the appointment of an ombudsman or Lokayukta for Gujarat which has been pending since 2003.

Jethava had also written to state vigilance commission seeking action against corrupt forest officials.

In the lion poaching case of 2007,Jethava was among the first to blow the whistle on the mysterious deaths of lions in Gir forest. He later campaigned against shifting of lions to the Kuno Palpur national park in Madhya Pradesh. In the Aamir Khanchinkara poaching incident Jethava had earlier filed a writ petition in HC seeking quashing orders against a Bhuj court which stayed an inquiry against Khan.

Since 2006 Jethava spearheaded the RTI campaign in Khamba.Every month he and his team would organise mass awareness programmes regarding the new law.From school students to retired employees,women and small traders had been using this new tool in his taluka to get their rights.

Jethava had spearheaded the campaign against rising case pendency in the Gujarat Information Commission (GIC) due to lack of commissioners.It was on his petition that the HC directed the state government to complete the appointments within a stipulated time.

He again came to the rescue of thousands of RTI users by filing a writ petition in the HC and made the government accept Indian Postal Order (IPO) as one of the modes of payment to deposit fees while filing of RTI applications.

 

 

________________________________________________________________________

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ambrish.p

As reported in Dainik Jagran on 21/07/10

 

गुजरात में आरटीआई कार्यकर्ता की हत्या

 

अहमदाबाद, जागरण संवाददाता : अभिनेता आमिर खान के खिलाफ वन्यजीव कानून का उल्लंघन करने की शिकायत करने वाले सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता एवं दलित युवा नेता अमित जेठवा की मंगलवार रात्रि अज्ञात मोटर साइकिल सवार युवकों ने गोली मारकर हत्या कर दी। हाल ही में अवैध खनन के खिलाफ अभियान चलाने के कारण गुजरात के एक सांसद के उसकी तकरार चल रही थी। हत्या को लेकर शक की सुई इस सांसद पर भी उठ रही है। जेठवा को हाईकोर्ट के सामने उस वक्त गोली मारी गई जब वह एक आरटीआई याचिका की फोटो स्टेट कराने के लिए बाहर निकले। हत्या में गुजरात के एक सांसद का हाथ होने की आशंका जताई जा रही है। सौराष्ट्र के अमरेली जिले के खांभा गांव निवासी अमित जेठवा एशियाई शेरों के लिए संरक्षित प्रसिद्ध गिरवन में पशुओं तथा वन संरक्षण के लिए लंबे समय से अभियान चला रहे थे। अज्ञात मोटरसाइकिल सवार युवकों ने रात्रि करीब साढे़ नौ बजे हाईकोर्ट के सामने ही गोली मारकर हत्या कर दी। जेठवा यहां अपने एक वकील मित्र के पास आरटीआई याचिका तैयार कराने के लिए आए थे। जेठवा सौराष्ट्र में अवैध खनन माफियाओं के खिलाफ आरटीआई के जरिए भ्रष्टाचार का विरोध कर रहे थे। सौराष्ट्र के गांव गांव में जेठवा ने गीर नेचर क्लब स्थापित कर लिया था। पिछले कुछ वर्ष से वह आरटीआई के जरिए भी वन विभाग के अधिकारियों तथा वन माफियाओं के भ्रष्टाचार को उजागर करने में लगे थे। इसके अलावा जेठवा अपने अभियान को असरदार बनाने के लिए एक समाचार पत्र का भी शुरू किया था।

 

source: http://in.jagran.yahoo.com/epaper/article/index.php?page=article&choice=print_article&location=49&category=&articleid=885215172960320

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Ketan Modi

Dear RTI Community,

 

This morning I woke up to the most shocking news about one of Greatest RTI worker and environmentalist in Gujarat, Amit Jethwa being shot dead outside Gujarat High Court. Immediately I had called up JP Sir, who informed me that he was informed about it by a journalist last night within minutes of the incident taking place. Then in a few minutes, Karira Sir also called him up to tell him about it. This morning when I put on my TV the second sentence coming the Aaj Tak Anchor was that Amit Jethwa the RTI worker and environmentalist was shot dead. I was stunned. Just two days back I had called up Amit Sir requesting him whether he would appear before Gujarat Information Commission on my behalf under letter of authority in some of my matters. He agreed instantly and asked me to send the authority. To me it is a personal loss because though I had never met him personally but we were in touch over phone and I had developed special liking for him for the work he was doing. It is suspected that Amit Sir was working on the illegal mining within five kilometers of Gir Sanctuary, which was impeding the Lion inhabitation in the region. The mining mafia and poaching mafia could be responsible for the incident. If that is true Ministry of Mining and Home both are being headed by the Chief Minister. People say that CM is not that kind of person. But even when Haren Pandya was shot dead, fingers were pointed at the CM. No wonder the mining mafia and the poaching mafia would not have dared to do something so drastic without being blessed by the powers that be. Amit Sir came into my contact courtesy JP Sir and through Amit Sir, I came into contact with Bharat Kamalia, the young RTI and environmental crusader. I am worried about Bharat because he too has been taking on local powers that be. I tried calling him up but since morning his cell is switched off. I suggest that our community must device some networking whereby information about sensitive issues should be entrusted to some one outside the state and in case of issues reaching appeal stage, some local person should appear under letter of authorisation. I am making this suggestion for ensuring the safety of members of our community. I also suggest that RTI Worker's award be bestowed upon Amit Sir posthumously. I am also worried about some friends on whose behalf I been appearing in RTI matters in Gujarat who have taken on corrupt practices indulged into by powerful people. Not that we should give up the fight but safety is also necessary as if good crusaders and whistle blowers meet the fate that reached Amit Sir, I think we must work out on some networking of RTI community and information seeker from a particular state can have his/her application filed by someone outside the state and when appeal time comes local person can take over under letter of authority. Friends like Karira Sir, JP Sir, Ganpat Sir, Col. Sir should form an online committee to whet the information seeker's credentials and genuineness of the reasons for seeking information. This would keep the local guy out of the local lime light till appeal time comes. I invite suggestion from friends. In the meantime, I once again reiterate that RTI Worker's award be bestowed upon Amit Sir, posthumously. Let us all pray that Amit Sir rest in peace and be inspiration to our entire community. Today for the first time I am signing of with Unhappy information seeking.

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karira

Various threads on the same topic merged into one

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Atul Patankar

As reported at zeenews.com on uly 22, 2010

 

[

Accused BJP MP goes underground in RTI activist murder case

 

 

Ahmedabad: BJP MP Dinubhai Boghabhai Solanki, the man suspected to be behind the murder of Right to Information (RTI) activist Amit Jethwa is reported to be underground just 24-hours after the incident.

 

Amit Jethwa's father Bhiku Jethwa had accused Solanki for the murder, as he claimed that his son had recently filed an RTI application and PIL in the Gujarat High Court against Solanki.

 

"I believe that Dinu Solanki is behind the killing of my son. He had many times threatened me also on phone," said Bhiku Jethwa in his interaction with the media on Wednesday.

 

Prominent RTI activist Amit Jethwa was shot dead by unidentified assailants near the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday night.

 

Jethwa was campaigning against alleged illegal mining in the Gir Sanctuary in Saurashtra, which is allegedly backed by some politicians.

 

Jethwa had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the High Court, which alleged that mining activities were being carried out in the Una and Kodinar areas of Saurashtra with the support of Junagadh BJP MP Solanki and his relatives.

 

Jethwa had further alleged that the Solankis were also running illegal mines and stone crushers in a village on the border of the Gir forest.

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Atul Patankar

As reported at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on Jul 22, 2010

 

Vital clues in whistleblower's murder

 

AHMEDABAD: Two days after RTI activist Amit Jethwa was killed in Ahmedabad, police claim to have found vital clues in the murder case that lead directly to BJP MP Dinu Solanki's constituency Junagadh, Gujarat. The prime suspect meanwhile seems to have gone underground.

 

A police team has left for Junagadh following what they claim is clinching evidence pointing to the MP's involvement. The activist's father on Wednesday said he had received threat calls in the past from the MP, after Amit Jethwa filed a PIL on Solanki's alleged links to illegal mining in the Gir national forest, which is the last remaining natural habitat for the Asiatic lion.

 

Dinu Solanki is also an accused in an attack on former Congress MLA Dhirsing Bharad. Illegal mining worth Rs 50 cr allegedly took place annually within 5 kms of the periphery of Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, allegedly under the direct guidance and patronage of Dinu Solanki.

 

"I strongly suspect that Dinu Solanki is behind my son's murder. Because he has threatened me on telephone. He also threatened Amit many times. Amit was threatened in Kodinar and Khamba towns in front of large crowds, a thousand strong. But nobody dared to report the matter," said Bhiku Jethwa, Amit's father.

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Atul Patankar

As reported by Dilip Patel at mumbaimirror.com on July 22, 2010

 

Slained RTI activist was looking for a break from campaigns

 

In Ahmedabad Environmental activist Amit Jethava died sad. The slain crusader, who was shot point blank near the Gujarat High Court found himself alone in the fight for environment.

 

“Despite my efforts to protect Gir lions from illegal miners, people remained insensitive, and did not come foward for the cause,” Jethava had expressed his anguish during a tete-a-tete with this reporter on July 12. “Since I have failed to evoke people’s response for protection of environment, I am planning to take a break for two months.”

 

Jethava was aware of the fact that he was playing with fire, therefore, the wildlife activist had filed an affidavit on a threat to his life. “I know how risky it is for me and my family to wage a war against the mining mafia,” he had said, adding, “It pains me to see that the people are failing to acknowledge my efforts.”

 

Known for calling a spade a spade, Jethava had more enemies than friends. During a public meeting in Khambha village, a few months ago, Jethava was publicly threatened. And it was for this reason that he had to live his native place and come to Ahmedabad.

 

Also, Jethava lost his membership on the State Wildlife Advisory Board headed by the chief minister for his frankness in 2002.

 

The former chief wildlife warden G A Patel spiked his chances of being appointed on the board on the pretext that he may even not be afraid of speaking up against the chief minister.

 

In another incident, Jethava had filed a PIL challenging the appointment of J K Vyas to the post of environment director on the grounds that he was not eligible for the post. The case was settled in Jethava’s favour.

14-02b.jpg

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Atul Patankar

As reported at dnaindia.com on 22 July, 2010

 

Activists across India stunned by Amit Jethava’s murder

 

The news of the murder of environment and RTI activist, Amit Jethava, by unknown assailants has stunned fellow activists across the country.

 

Unanimously condemning the incident, they have demanded a thorough inquiry into the audacious murder of the activist in the heart of an urban centre like Ahmedabad.

 

In his mid 30s, Jethava was gunned down by two unidentified men on a bike on Tuesday night. The assailants had used a country-made pistol. Jethava, a resident of Khamba in Junagadh, was the president of Gir Nature Youth Club. In addition to several prominent campaigns relating to conservation of Asiatic Lions in Gir Forests, Jethava was also actively utilising the RTI to expose the corruption in the system.

 

His death is being seen by activists as an attempt to stifle the voice of activism trying to expose the rot in the system. "The state should take immediate action against the culprits to restore faith in law of the land," a statement released by Janpath, an umbrella organisation of various NGOs, stated. Janpath claimed that national activists like Arvind Kejriwal, Nikhil De, Aruna Roy and several others have expressed their concern over the murder. "They have offered to take up the cause of illegal mining raised by Jethava's organisation. We are willing to take forth the case in the court," Janpath said. "It is an appaling feature of a society that an activist working to expose the corruption in the system is not protected under the law," another campaigner said,

 

"This murder is a clear indication that vested interests, including politicians, will stop at nothing in Gujarat. It is high time that civil society in the state comes out in large numbers and protests the rot that is overpowering the state," said a statement by Fr Cedric Prakash, director of NGO, Prashant.

"The state government is talking about security and safety of people when RTI activist like Amit Jethava is killed in front of Gujarat high court! Government is not doing anything for the safety of people who risk their lives to bring awareness against illegal activities," said RTI activist Bharatsinh Zala. He said the whole state is affected by illegal mining.

 

"Government gives lease to mafia. When the lease ends, the mafia don't renew it and continue mining on government land. Amit Jethava was fighting to prevent these mafia and he lost his life in this struggle," said Zala.

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javeed_khan

Dear friends,

 

It is high time the Government withdraw the RTI act and save so many families the torment they are undergoing. A representation should be sent to Mrs. Sonia Gandhi regarding this. What is this country, where the people who try to save this country are being killed by its own coutrymen.

"GHAR KO JALA DIYA GHAR KAE CHIRAG NAE"

Let the coming generations suffer because of these corrupt and anti national people. Why we should put our families in trouble when the governemnt is not supporting us. What happened to the several cases of RTI activists murders.

 

"JAI HIND"

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jps50

I knew Amit from Nov 2009. Very brave, dynamic and straight forward committed mainly to environment protection and wild life for last 10 years. He was member of this portal also.

 

HE TRIED TO SAVE LIONS OF GIR FOREST, AND LION WAS KILLED.

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jps50

Whistling in the dark - Hindustan Times

 

HINDUSTAN TIMES

editorials

 

Whistling in the dark

Hindustan Times

July 23, 2010First Published: 22:24 IST(23/7/2010)

Last Updated: 22:28 IST(23/7/2010)

 

Corruption, according to no less than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a speech last year, is tarnishing India's image, hurting its economic growth and squashing the government's efforts to build an equitable society. This ties in with the 'murder' of Gujarat's Right to Information (RTI) activist

 

Amit Jethwa. Clearly, someone has an interest in throttling the voices of those who are brave enough to speak up against dishonesty at the highest level. Jethwa, according to reports, had filed several Right to Information (RTI) cases against the illegal mining lobby in the Gir lion sanctuary. This brought him into collision with his friend-turned-foe BJP MP, Dinu Solanki. Jethwa's father has accused Solanki of plotting his son's murder.

That RTI activists in Gujarat and elsewhere in the country are feeling the heat is well-known. At an activists' meet in Ahmedabad in March, many talked about getting death threats from corrupt politicians and government officials. An incident like Jethwa's murder, however, is not new to India. Remember National Highway Authority of India's Satyendra Dubey and Indian Oil Corporation's Manjunath Shanmugham? Both were killed because they stood up to corrupt officials and contractors. In recent months, activists Satish Shetty and Datta Patil, who exposed many land scams and corrupt politicians and bureaucrats in Maharashtra, were also murdered. After the death of Dubey and Manjunath, there was much soul-searching about how to p rotect the whistleblowers. The Public Interest Disclosure (Protection of Informers) Bill, 2009, was drafted but it is not a law yet. As per the draft law, any person can make a complaint on corruption against any central government employee or institution to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). The CVC will have the power to investigate and provide security to the whistleblower. Information activists also feel that a similar kind of provision could be weaved into the existing RTI law. The other important exercise could be to appoint an effective Lokayukta. Gujarat, like many other states, doesn't have one.

 

As India develops and people become more aware of their rights, there's bound to be a clash of interests. The people will use laws like the RTI to demand what's due to them and put pressure on the authorities to deliver. But the meaning of such positive developments will be lost if they are constantly exposed to the dangers of clashing with the corrupt.

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karira

As reported in indianexpress.com on 27July 2010:

Jethava murder:

 

Jethava murder: ‘Missing’ MP says not guilty in ads

 

“Missing” BJP MP from Junagadh, Dinu Solanki, put out an advertisement in three Gujarati dailies on Monday, claiming he had no enmity with Amit Jethava, the RTI activist who was shot dead near the Gujarat High Court a few days ago.

 

Since Jethava’s killing, the MP has not been seen in public and the Junagadh police, which provide him security, said they last saw him on July 18. The Ahmedabad police probing Jethava’s murder said they have got “vital clues”.

 

Dinu Solanki is said to be a close aide of Amit Shah, the former home minister now in judicial custody.

 

Junagadah SP incharge Maninder Pawar said the MP was last seen on July 18 at a Garib Kalyan Mela function. “We have no idea where he is now,” said Pawar. Solanki did not attend the Parliament session on Monday in Delhi either.

 

In Ahmedabad, the police have traced the vehicle used by the two assailants who shot Jethava. “One of them appears to be a history-sheeter. We have also sought details about complaints registered against and by Jethava in Amreli and Junagadh districts,” Ahmedabad police said.

 

Police officers investigating the case said, “We cannot give details of the seized vehicle or of the suspect. But we have got leads.”

 

They said the killing seemed well-coordinated at three levels. “It appears that a middleman might have given supari (a contract to kill) to the two persons who shot Jethava,” they said.

 

DCP Zone-I, Brijesh Kumar Jha, refused to elaborate. “The police are talking to Jethava’s friends and relatives who spoke to him a few hours before the incident took place.”

 

What the ad says

MP Shri Dinubhai Solanki’s Public Clarification I had no enmity with Amit Jethava. The PIL filed in High Court on illegal mines has no impact on the ones working in my name spread over two-and-a-half acres because following the Supreme Court order, these mines have been closed since 2005. This PIL does not help or affect me adversely in any way.

 

It is possible the sad incident could have been a result of to the impact of Amit Jethava’s PIL on other legal and illegal mine operators.

 

According to my information, Amitbhai frequently filed public interest litigations (PILs) in the Gujarat High Court, which affected different subjects, due to which this incident (Jethava’s murder) could have taken place.

 

I have learnt through newspapers that Amit Jethava had confided to his lawyer friend that Dinubhai would be upset with his petition, but they perhaps do not know that the lease of the mines mentioned in the PIL have expired.

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karira

As reported by Shubhlakshmi Shukla and Hiral Dave in expressindia.com on 29 July 2010:

Murdered RTI activist had taken on Gir mining mafia - Express India

 

Murdered RTI activist had taken on Gir mining mafia

 

KODINAR, AHMEDABAD On July 21, barely a fortnight after he filed a PIL in the Gujarat High Court seeking an end to illegal limestone mining along the Gir wildlife sanctuary, 36-year-old activist Amit Jethava was killed. He was shot from point blank range on a busy highway in Ahmedabad, minutes after he came out of his lawyer’s office near the very court where he filed PILs year after year.

 

Gujarat has the country’s fourth largest limestone deposits, some 12,000 million metric tonnes spread over Kutch, Junagadh, Amreli, Banaskantha and Sabarkantha. Official estimates peg the state’s current mining market to be worth well over Rs 500 crore a year but unofficial projections say it is much more.

 

A complex nexus of politicians, influential businessmen, bureaucrats and goons controls the illegal slice of the mining business, overshadowing its legally allowed chunk. Some of Jethava’s efforts using the RTI Act and PILs had changed things and sent politicians, the government and its babus scampering for cover.

 

Hours after his motorcycle-borne assassins left him bleeding to death by the roadside, fingers were being pointed at Dinesh Solanki, BJP’s powerful MP in Junagadh. Solanki, who is close to former Home Minister Amit Shah and Finance Minister Vajubhai Vala, holds considerable sway over the local mining business.

 

But Solanki has not been seen after Jethava’s killing, not even by the police personnel guarding him. Junagadh’s SP Maninder Pawar admitted he had no idea where Solanki was.

 

The MP, however, put out an advertisement in local newspapers on Monday, proclaiming his innocence, even suggesting that someone else hit by one of Jethava’s many PILs may have got him killed. Solanki’s advertisement also maintained that Jethava’s latest PIL could not have impacted “ mines working in my name” since those shut down after a Supreme Court order.

 

Jethava was not known to get fazed by circumstances. Operating mostly from his village Khambha, he soon managed to become a member of the state wildlife advisory board, even logged his name in the state as well as national environment protection circuit.

 

From his one-room office in Khambha, he used the RTI Act to source information from all over, and then followed it up in courts with his many PILs. It was one of his PILs that forced the state government to agree in court to appoint a Lokayukta and RTI information officers.

 

His pursuit of almost every development in the Gir wildlife sanctuary areas often kept the state forest brass on the tenterhooks, before he shifted base to Ahmedabad a couple of years ago to begin focussing more on the RTI route.

 

Senior forest officials recall the first line of a government circular some five years ago, stating: “ Amit Jethava na akshepo upar dhyan levo nahi (Do not take any complaints from Jethava seriously).”

 

“It is not usual for a state government to issue an official circular asking not to take an individual’s complaints seriously, ordering officers to use their discretion,” an official said.

 

His father Bhikhabhai runs a cobbler’s shop in his village. “My boy had courage. He never thought twice before getting to battle Solanki. He ignored the many threats that he kept getting from Solanki,” he alleged.

 

Jethava’s latest PIL related to a mining lease that Solanki reportedly got sanctioned by the Junagadh collectorate in Pichvi village, which, according to forest department records, is one of the six villages in Kodinar that falls within the prohibited five-kilometre radius surrounding the ecologically sensitive Gir sanctuary.

 

The lease (survey numbers 131 and 131/1) was extended for another 10 years in 2006. In 2007, state officials, under pressure from Jethava, cancelled Solanki’s lease along with 34 other illegal leases in the Kodinar-Jamvada belt.

 

But Jethava, in his PIL, claimed that the cancellation was only on paper. He adduced government records, including evidence of an alleged illegal mining racket unearthed by the state geology and mines department official, Y B Raval, on January 24 to point to Solanki’s role.

 

The MP had obtained the electricity connection to the mining sites in his nephew’s name. Jethava produced copies of the electricity bills to contend that illegal mining was still going on. On July 9, the High Court issued notices to all the respondents, and posted the hearing for August.

 

Forest officials and political circles in Junagadh and Amreli recall how close Jethava and Solanki once were. “When Jethava began his wildlife activism, Solanki (who was then an MLA) allowed him to use his MLA quarters in Gandhinagar during his visits,” said a forest officer.

 

But all that changed in 2007, when Jethava contested the Assembly polls against Solanki.

 

Incidentally, it was Solanki who urged Jethava to cash in on his increasing popularity and contest the elections for the Khambha-Kodinar Assembly seat. Solanki wanted Jethava to cut into the vote share of Dhirsinh Barad, who was touted to be the Congress candidate and who wielded significant clout in Khambha.

 

But the Congress fielded Laxman Parmar instead of Barad. Solanki then asked Jethava to withdraw his nomination. But Jethava refused, deciding to remain in the fray. Solanki won the seat for the fourth time. When he vacated the seat to become MP in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, Barad won the Kodinar seat. Jethava got close to Barad, as they then had a common foe in Solanki.

 

Over the last couple of years, Jethava often took on Solanki. The Rajmoti Charitable Trust run by the MP had to give up possession of its newly-built community hall after Jethava filed a petition in court pointing out that it was built using Central and state government grants and was, therefore, public property.

 

Jethava then used the RTI route to prove that all the cellphone towers installed in Kodinar, in which Solanki’s nephew, Pratap Solanki, had a business interest, were illegal. He also tried to prove that although a criminal case of rioting and assault was pending against Solanki (who was accused of assaulting Barad and his kin), the MP was being allowed to go to the US.

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Guest pcbali

July 31 at 2:00pm The Dinesh Solanki-Amit Jethava story is about the mentor and the student turning on each other in the wake of an inevitable clash of ambitions. The lucrative limestone-mining business of Gujarat — conservatively estimated at Rs 500 crore annually — provides the backdrop for not just Jethava's murder but a general sordid politician-bureaucrat-businessman nexus in the state.

Jethava hailed from Khambha town, part of the command area of Solanki's transportation and limestone mining business. When his childhood friend Boga Dhakan started the Gir Nature Youth Club, the first local environment group in the area, Jethava, a compounder suspended from the local Community Health Centre, was quick to sign up. That was just under five years ago.The club soon found donors among industrialists and politicians in the area, and Jethava became close to Solanki, then a BJP MLA.

The relationship broke during the 2007 Assembly election. Jethava contested against Solanki at the Khambha-Kodinar seat, which that latter had already won thrice. As Solanki romped home for the fourth time, the enmity between the men only deepened.

In 2009, Solanki became an MP, and the Congress's Dhirsinh Barad won the Assembly seat. Suddenly, Jethava had an ally — and Barad a friend against the common enemy, Solanki. Ever since the Assembly election battle, Jethava had been doing his best to disrupt Solanki's businesses, unleashing against the politician a volley of petitions and RTI applications. Now, he redoubled his efforts.

Complaints against Solanki

According to officials at the Khambha police station, Jethava had filed at least 21 complaints with them — five of which were against Solanki. All were about alleged violations of environment laws in the Gir Sanctuary.

Jethava successfully petitioned the court that a community hall being built by Solanki's Rajmoti Charitable Trust was using Central and state government grants and was, hence, public property.

Jethava was successful in digging out information through the RTI Act that proved that mobile phone towers in Kodinar — a business in which Solanki's nephew Shiva had an interest — had been erected illegally.

He used the RTI Act to show that even though a criminal case of rioting and assault was pending against Solanki, the MP was being allowed to fly to the US.

Another complaint related to a mining lease given to Solanki by the Junagadh Collectorate in Pichvi village. According to the Forest Department, Pichvi is one of six villages in Kodinar that fall within the prohibited 5-km radius of the Gir Sanctuary.

In a complaint filed on August 25, 2008, Jethava expressed fears that Solanki might bring try to bring false charges against him.

Two months ago, Jethava filed an RTI application with the Gujarat Forest Department, seeking details of illegal mining on the periphery of the Gir Sanctuary. This month, he filed a public interest suit against illegal mining in the Gujarat High Court, which declared Solanki a respondent in the case.

He also filed affidavits with the Supreme Court-constituted Central Empowered Committee (CEC) on illegal mining around the Gir National Park and Sanctuary. The matter is still pending with the CEC.

The mining trail

The truth about Jethava's murder lies shrouded in the complex and murky workings of Gujarat's mining nexus. The state in which India's fourth largest limestone deposits are located, had done little to curb illegal mining until 2002 — the year in which the Forest Department was given powers to restrict mining within the Sanctuary area, and up to a radius of 5 km around its perimeter. "Before 2002, mining activity continued around the forest area as there was no law to prevent it," said a senior Forest Department official.

The deposits in the Porbander, Kutch and Junagadh districts — and the smaller ones in Rajkot, Banaskantha and Sabarkantha — feed huge cement plants with annual production capacities of millions of tonnes. Among the big business houses that tap into the limestone are Ambuja Cements, Siddhi Cement and Hathi Cements in Veraval in Porbander district, and Sanghi Cement, J P Cements and Sparta Cement in Kutch. A cement manufacturing plant is reported to be in the pipeline in Kutch district. Some of the country's biggest soda-ash manufacturing units too are located in the limestone-producing areas of Gujarat.

The nature of the limestone quarrying business — windfall returns on minimal investment — attracted huge interest, and also spawned massive irregularities.

Jethava's PIL against illegal mining in the Supreme Court, and those in the Gujarat High Court against Director of Environment J K Vyas's promotion, have the potential to upset the workings of the mining mafia and the vested interests in the cement and soda ash industries.

According to official sources, 20 million to 22 million tonnes of limestone worth over Rs 500 crore is mined across the state annually, leading to the manufacture of nearly 15 million tonnes of cement. However, the state government has been getting royalty in the range of only about Rs 22 crore every year, with allegations that the bulk of it is siphoned off by the illegal mining mafia.

The other players

In the last five months, the state Mining and Geology department has cracked down on many Porbander-based mining companies that have allegedly underreported the quantity of limestone being quarried by them. The state government has even initiated a move to attach their landed properties.

These companies include those allegedly owned by former BJP minister Babu Bokhiria and Bima Odedara, the brother of BJP MLA Karsan Dula.

According to officials, a total of 135 companies are engaged in limestone mining in Porbander district, which has the largest of the limestone mines in the state. Sources in the Geology Commissionerate alleged that nearly 80 per cent these companies are controlled by Babu Bokhiria.

Bokhiria was accused of the murder of Congress activist and miner Molu Modhwadia in October 2005.

Molu's wife Laki had been demanding that an FIR be lodged against Bokhiria on the basis of a note recovered from Molu's wallet after his death. Molu had expressed the fear that Bokhiria was conspiring to eliminate him, and should be held responsible in case he (Molu) was killed.

While a forensic examination of the letter established the handwriting to be Molu's, the police have neither made Bokhiria an accused nor questioned him in the case. Bokhiria later challenged in the High Court a fast track court's judgment ordering his interrogation. After the High Court upheld the fast track court's order in 2008, Bokhiria challenged the matter in the Supreme Court, where it is now pending.

Bokhiria had earlier been arrested in an illegal mining case involving the non-payment of royalty of nearly Rs 54 crore in October 2007. The case was filed by Saurashtra Chemicals in 2006 (when Bokhiria was Porbander MLA) against Bokhiria, Bhima Odedara, his son Laxman and former Congress MP Bharat Odedara, who is now in the BJP. Bokhiria was released in March 2008, after he had spent five months in jail.

Another major defaulter, Bima Dula Odedara, is the brother of Karsan Dula, BJP MLA from Kotiyana. Karsan who has 36 criminal cases against him, happens to be Bokhiria's brother-in-law.

While five defaulters, whose penalty amount ranged between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 5 lakh, paid the penalties, the rest approached the Union Mining Ministry which is yet to decide on their appeal.

:confused:

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karira

As reported by Charul Shah in dnaindia.com on 09 August 2010:

Ahmedabad police close to unravelling Amit Jethwa

 

Ahmedabad police close to unravelling Amit Jethwa�s murder mystery

 

After the furore over RTI activist Amit Jethwa's murder, it seems the city police have finally identified the persons behind the crime. However, for fear that the killers may go into hiding, the police are not revealing the names of the killers yet.

 

"Jethwa's murder was a contract killing and the one who killed him and escaped from the spot have been identified. We are in the middle of investigations to find out the people who gave the contract," a cop told DNA.

 

The city police have not revealed the names of the accused but have gathered substantial evidence against the killers. "The police have now zeroed in on the killers, through the evidence gathered so far," a source testified to DNA.

 

Cops in the know, on the condition of anonymity, told DNA that the assailants have been identified as contract killers. The cops have gathered evidences of the financial transactions through which the killers were paid to kill Jethwa.

 

Officials further said that the killers are absconding and the cops fear that the people behind the attack might get the killers eliminated. The officials hence, did not divulge the names of the killers, for fear that they may go into hiding.

 

Police sources said that the killers seem to have followed the same modus operandi that has been observed in several similar crimes. In Jethwa's case, the killers came on a motorbike at night and shot him from very close, giving him very less time to react.

 

However, Jethwa managed to hold on to the killers' bike, due to which the assailants had to struggle to escape. Police officials claim that the arrest of the assailants may help detect several other murder cases where the victims were killed in a similar manner.

 

Jethwa was killed in firing by two people who came on a motorbike on July 20. The murder happened in the evening between 8:30 and 8:45 in front of the Gujarat high court. His family, in their statement to the police, has alleged that he was killed by the BJP leaders involved in illegal mining near Porbandar.

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karira

As reported by Soumitra Trivedi in livemint.com on 11 August 2010:

Murdered RTI activist

 

Murdered RTI activist’s legacy to be kept alive

 

For Bhikhubhai Jethwa, father of slain Right to Information (RTI) activist and environmentalist Amit Jethwa, the government’s move to provide protection to whistle-blowers has come too late.

 

“I have already lost my son who was so passionate about RTI,” he says.

 

Bhikhubhai was referring to the draft Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making the Disclosure Bill, 2010, that was cleared by the cabinet on Monday.

 

“The government should have thought about protecting whistle-blowers in 2005 itself when the Right to Information Act was brought in. If such a provision was there, many whistle-blowers wouldn’t have lost their lives,” Bhikhubhai says.

 

The proposed Bill empowers the Central Vigilance Commission to penalize people revealing the identity of whistle-blowers.

 

Amit Jethwa was shot dead on 20 July near the Gujarat high court in Ahmedabad by two unidentified men. “Political forces are behind his murder,” alleges Bhikhubhai.

 

In June, Jethwa had filed a public interest litigation (PIL), one of several by him, in the Gujarat high court alleging that illegal mining activities were being carried out in Una and Kodinar talukas in Junagadh district of Saurashtra region in Gujarat.

 

The south-western coastal district of Junagadh is home to Asiatic lions and blackbucks, protected species under the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, an international wildlife conservation body.

 

Jethwa’s PIL alleged that Dinubhai Boghabhai Solanki, member of Parliament from Junagadh constituency, and his relatives carried out illegal mining on the outskirts of Gir National Park, the 258.71 sq. km core forest area falling in Junagadh and Amreli districts.

 

Investigations are still being carried out by the police into Jethwa’s murder.

 

“We have got a few clues in the case indicating that the killing was ordered by people based in the Saurashtra region. We also have some information on one of the attackers. However, we suspect he may have fled the state,” a police official involved in the investigation of Jethwa’s murder said on condition of anonymity.

 

“They may have killed Amit but they don’t know that Amit has left an army of RTI activists behind him,” his father says. “He has taught the RTI Act to over 4,000 people, out of which 1,500 people are dedicatedly using RTI as a powerful tool to ensure citizens get their rights.”

 

Jaykant Patadiya, a soft-spoken Amreli-based diamond worker and an RTI colleague of Jethwa, says in Gujarati: “They may have country-made revolvers and political power, but we are armed with 20-rupee notes and a 45-page right to information rule book, which are no less than explosives.” Patadiya, a 37-year-old high school dropout, helps people write RTI applications for problems ranging from the issuing of ration cards to the illegal cutting of trees in the forest area, just like his mentor Jethwa once did.

 

“I polish diamonds starting from 8 in the morning to 6 in the evening and earn Rs4,000 a month,” he says, adding: “During my one-and-a-half-hour lunch break, I teach the RTI Act to 50 of my co-workers. I will teach them just like Amitbhai taught me. When they (his co-workers) finish learning how to use this weapon then they will go on teaching others, which will be a true tribute to Amitbhai.”

 

Patadiya says he was desolated by the murder of his mentor who had taught him how to use the RTI Act to get government departments to do their jobs.

 

“He loved nature and was ready to do anything to protect animals and environment. Amit and I were the founding members of Gir Nature Youth Club (founded in 2000), which has now over 1,100 members and volunteers. Most of these volunteers and members have told us they will not let this movement die,” says Bhagabhai Dhukan, a 44-year-old, Khambha-based goldsmith.

 

Located 60km from Amreli on the outskirts of the Gir Forest, Khambha was where Jethwa hailed from, having started his professional career as a junior pharmacist in the government health clinic there in 1996, after completing his education. His legacy is a durable one, say associates.

 

“After Jethwa’s death, we have got calls from many of our members who want to start branches of Mahiti Adhikar Nagarik Mandal (MANM, a voluntary body founded by Jethwa in 2006 to spread awareness on RTI),” says Purshottam Ambaliya, co-convener of MANM, which has 400 members. “Our routine of Sunday meetings at the Khambha office was disturbed only once after Amitbhai was murdered. The routine work has now resumed and it won’t stop.”

 

MANM officials, along with 10-15 volunteers, meet every Sunday to hear complaints of villagers and help them prepare applications under the RTI Act.

 

On an average, around 60-70 RTI applications are written every Sunday.

 

Patadiya is inspired enough to strike out on his own.

 

“I have decided to start Mahiti Adhikar Nagarik Mandal-Amreli. I don’t have money to rent an office, but I have a spare room at home which will serve as an office,” says Patadiya. “My co-workers at the diamond unit whom I have taught how to go about writing RTI applications have promised to help me in this.”

 

Jethwa’s colleagues are also thinking of reviving the tiffin meetings, which had started with the inception of MANM and carried on until Jethwa shifted to Ahmedabad in the latter half of 2008 so that he could commute more easily to state capital Gandhinagar and the Gujarat high court. Gandhinagar is 35km from Ahmedabad.

 

“We are thinking of resuming the tiffin meetings to spread more awareness in the interior villages of Saurashtra,” said Yusuf Juneja, member of MANM and a professional signboard painter.

 

Tiffin meetings used to be held once a month at different villages in Amreli, Junagadh and Jamnagar districts, where MANM volunteers and villagers used to meet and discuss the RTI Act and share their lunches.

 

Gujarat high court advocate Vijay Nagesh, Jethwa’s lawyer in the mining PIL, says he will pursue the case. “He was murdered a month after he filed the PIL against the mining mafias. However, this does not mean that his work will stop. I will keep fighting,” Nagesh said. “Bhavin Jethwa (Jethwa’s brother) is now following this case...”

 

Jethwa had accomplished a great deal through his filings. One of the PILs called for the appointment of more information commissioners as RTI appeals were piling up before the sole official handling the role. PIL forced the government to appoint two more information commissioners, says Nagesh.

 

Apart from this, in March, government had to revise the rules governing the payment of RTI application fees.

 

“Earlier, we had to pay fees in the form of a demand draft, a pay order or non-judicial stamp paper. To get demand draft, pay orders and stamp papers, villagers had to travel to the nearest town and spend more for transport as well as charges for issuing demand draft or pay order,” says Patadiya. “Jethwa filed a PIL saying that the government should allow revenue stamps also as the medium of payment as it was easily available at any village post office.”

 

After Jethwa won, the state government allowed payment of RTI application fees in the form of revenue stamps.

 

“Amit did what he could to defend democracy, but it is shameful that it is already 21 days since he was killed and the police department has made no progress in this case,” Bhikhubhai says. “No arrests have been made so far. I feel unless CBI (the Central Bureau of Investigation) interferes, this case will also die out soon.”

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karira

As reported by Prashant Dayal in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 14 August 2010:

Police constable involved in Jethwa murder - Ahmedabad - City - The Times of India

 

Police constable involved in Jethwa murder

 

AHMEDABAD: In a startling development, investigations into the murder of RTIactivistAmit Jethwa have pointed at the involvement of a policeman. No accused have been arrested in this case so far.

 

Jethwa was shot dead in the Sola area of Ahmedabad in July 20. It happened right opposite Gujarat High Court in a Satyameva Jayate complex around 8 pm, when Jethwa was about to get into his car. Just then two unknown men shot him from behind and killing him on the spot.

 

The police found a bike, a country-made revolver and two live cartridges from the spot where Jethwa lay in a pool of blood.

 

Ahmedabad city police on Friday brought a police constable named Bahadur and his nephew Sanjay for questioning from Kodinar, in Junagadh.

 

Jethwa's family members have been alleging that this was a political murder and he was killed because he exposed the illegal mining mafia in Gir. They had named Junagadh MLA Dinu Solanki in the killing.

 

The complaint was registered in the Sola police station and the investigation was being jointly carried out by the Ahmedabad city crime branch and city police.

 

The crime branch acted on certain leads like the killer, identified as Shailesh, being from Suigam, Banaskantha. A few hours before the murder, Shailesh had bought some clothes from a place close to the murder site in Chandlodiya. Apparently, a police car had come to drop him in Ahmedabad from Diu.

 

On the basis of these tips, the police landed in Saurashtra and learnt that politicians and police were involved in the killing. Bahadur and his nephew are believed to be very close to politicians.

 

The police officials claim that within a week the entire plot will be clear and even if the killers are not caught, the motive would be known and planners nabbed.

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karira

As reported in ibnlive.in.com on 16 August 2010:

BJP MP's nephew detained in Jethwa murder case - Politics - Politics News - ibnlive

BJP MP's nephew detained in Jethwa murder case

 

Ahmedabad: Ahmedabad Police Crime Branch on Monday detained four people including the nephew of Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Jungarh in connection with the murder of Right to Information activist Amit Jethwa.

 

Shiva Solanki is the nephew of BJP MP Dinubhai Boghabhai Solanki and also the Chairman of BJP-ruled Kodinar municipality. Shiva Solanki was detained Shiva by Ahmedabad Crime Branch in Kodinar.

 

Three other people have also been detained and have been identified as Sanjay, Bahadur Singh and Haji Bhai. Sanjay was detained at Diu.

 

Bahadur Singh is a Gujarat Police constable posted at the Gir Gadaha police station. Singh is also believed to be close to Dinubhai Boghabhai Solanki.

 

One of the accused in the murder of Jethwa is still absconding.

 

Jethwa was killed on the evening of July 20 near Gujarat High Court. Ahmedabad police official said that some unidentified men on a motorcycle fired at Jethwa killing him.

 

Jethwa was reportedly coming out of a building after meeting his lawyer and about to enter his vehicle when he was fired upon. Even though he was hit in the abdomen by the bullets, he tried to grapple with his assailants, who fled from after leaving behind their motorcycle.

 

He had filed several petitions in the Gujarat High Court against the forest department and had also filed a a public interest litigation (PIL) on the illegal mining in the Gir forests of Junagadh district which is considered the last abode of Asiatic lions in the world. Jethwa was also the president of Gir Nature Youth Club.

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Atul Patankar

As reported at news.oneindia.in on news.oneindia.in

 

Ahmedabad, Aug 17: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP's nephew had been held in Junagarh in connection with RTI activist Amit Jethwa's murder case.

 

According to CNN-IBN, Shiva Solanki is the nephew of BJP MP Dinubhai Boghabhai Solanki.

 

Ahmedabad Police Crime Branch also arrested three other people along with Solanki on Monday, Aug 16.

 

RTI activist, Jethwa was killed on Jul 20 near Gujarat High Court. Ahmedabad police official said that some unidentified men on a motorcycle fired at Jethwa.

 

Jethwa filed several petitions in the Gujarat High Court against the forest department and had also filed a a public interest litigation (PIL) on the illegal mining in the Gir forests of Junagadh district.

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jps50

I understand that Hon'ble High Court has ordered Gujarat Police to file status report of investigation of murder of Shri Amit Jethava on 5th Sept 2010.

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