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karira

Amit Jethwa: RTI Activist shot dead in Gujarat

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karira

As reported in dnaindia.com on 17 August 2010:

Police close to solving Amit Jethava murder case - India - DNA

 

Police close to solving Amit Jethava murder case

 

Well-known RTI activist Amit Jethava was murdered in cold blood on July 20 in Ahmedabad, a killing that caused widespread outrage and drew much attention because a politician's hand was initially suspected in the crime. Jethava had filed a PIL against the illegal mining areas of Saurashtra at the time of his murder and it was suspected that he was killed because of this. Now that the police claim that they are close to solving the case, DNA traces the murder, the probable reasons behind it and other related matters.

 

The murder

Amit Jethava, the president of the Gir Nature Youth Club and a Right to Information (RTI) activist, was shot dead in front of the Gujarat high court on July 20, 2010 at around 8:30 pm. The killers came on a bike and shot him while he was coming out an advocate's office near the Bar Council of Gujarat office. Jethava managed to hold the assailants for some time, but they escaped from the spot leaving their bike behind.

 

Was a land deal the motive behind the killing?

After interrogating many people, the DCB had reportedly found that Jethava was killed due to a land deal of several crores. He was part of the deal which had actually harassed some people after which they managed to kill him via a contract killing.

 

The political angle

The name of a relative of a political leader too had been raised during the investigation. Sources close to the development said that the suspect has already been detained by DCB, but has not been arrested yet. The person is a close relative of a leader of political party and belongs to Kodinar.

 

The gang

From the very initial stages of the investigation, the police suspected the role of a gang from the Saurashtra area of the state in Jethava's killing. A source said that most of the work done by Jethava as an activist was in that region and so the police commenced the investigation by cornering the history-sheeters from Saurashtra.

 

Clues which helped police

Bike: The bike was found just behind Jethava's Gypsy. However, the number plate on the two-wheeler was wrong. The bike was numbered GJ 1DQ 2482. When the police verified the number, it was registered for a Scooty and not a motorcycle.

 

Plastic bag: The bag was found near the bike and was attached to it. However, the police have not yet opened the bag.

 

Two unused cartridges: When the sniffer dogs reached the cross roads behind the building, the police found two unused cartridges at the corner of the road.

 

A sandal: On another side of the road from where the police found the cartridges, the police also found a sandal which they believe belongs to the accused.

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karira

As reported by PTI in dnaindia.com on 19 August 2010:

One more held in RTI activist Amit Jethwa murder case - India - DNA

One more held in RTI activist Amit Jethwa murder case

 

Days after the arrest of a Junagadh constable in the alleged murder of RTI activist and green crusader Amit Jethwa, another accused has been held in connection with the case here, the police said today.

 

Pachan Shiva, 28, one of the persons who shot Jethwa, was arrested from near the state transport bus depot late last night, crime branch officials said.

 

Jethwa was shot dead from a close range near the Gujarat high court on July 20 after he filed a public interest litigation (PIL) against illegal mining in Gir forest region.

 

On Monday, the city crime branch had arrested a police constable Bahadursinh Dhirubha Wadher, 37, posted in Girgadhada police station in Junagadh district, in connection with Jethwa's murder.

 

According to police, Wadher had given the contract of killing Jethwa to Shiva and one Shailesh Pandya, a sharp shooter, who is still absconding.

 

The duo, who came on a motorcycle, shot Jethwa when he was coming out of his lawyer's office near the High Court.

 

Both Shiva and Pandya were promised Rs11 lakh by Wadher for killing Jethwa, police said.

 

A day after Jethwa was shot dead his father Bhikabhai Jethwa had alleged that BJP MP from Junagadh Dinu Solanki was behind his son's murder.

 

However, crime branch officials had said there were no leads which pointed at Solanki's involvement in the case.

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karira

As reported in dnaindia.com on 23 August 2010:

One more held in Jethava case - India - DNA

 

One more held in Jethava case

 

The crime branch sleuths on Sunday arrested one more accused in RTI activist, Amit Jethava, murder case.

 

Sanjay Parbatbhai Chauhan, 21, who was already under detention, was arrested by the sleuths for his alleged role in

the killing.

 

According to sources, Chauhan, a resident of Una in Junagadh district, was also part of the conspiracy to kill the activist. He reportedly helped the contract killers to identify Jethava before he was murdered in the city. "Chauhan helped the killers by showing the office and house of the deceased," sources added.

 

So far, three persons, including a police constable Bahadursinh Dhirubha Wadher, have been arrested in the case. Wadher was arrested a week ago. The other arrested accused is Pachan Shiva, 28, who, according to police, is one of the two assailants who had shot Jethava on the night of July 20 near the Gujarat high court.

 

According to police, Wadher had given the contract of killing Jethava to Shiva and one Shailesh Pandya, a sharpshooter, who is still absconding. Earlier the crime branch had said that the duo was promised Rs11 lakh by Wadher for killing Jethava.

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Atul Patankar

As reported at indianexpress.com on Sep 07 2010

 

BJP MP Dinu Solanki's nephew held in murder of green activist

 

Ahmedabad : Influential BJP MP Dinu Solanki's nephew Shiva Solanki was arrested on Tuesday morning from the Rajkot airport for the murder of RTI activist and green crusader Amit Jethawa.

Solanki was taking an early morning flight to Mumbai when he was held by the cops.

 

The Ahmedabad police had kept Shiva Solanki under a tight watch ever since investigations indicated that the MP's nephew might have hired the contract killers who shot Jethawa dead opposite the Gujarat High Court on July 20.

 

Jethawa was disliked by many, sources said, as he was campaigning against illegal mining in the Gir Sanctuary areas. Several politicians are allegedly involved in mining here. Jethawa had filed a public interest litigation against illegal mining a few days before he was shot dead.

 

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Crime, Himansh Shukla confirmed Solanki's arrest and said: “Solanki was picked up at 8.30 am. He was on his way to Mumbai.”

 

Shukla said Solanki is the main accused in the murder case. “He had asked another accused Bahadursinh Dhirubhai Wadher to eliminate Amit Jethawa. Bahadur then planned the crime and executed it with the help of sharpshooters Shailesh Pandya and Pachan Shiva, who have been arrested.”

 

Police sources say Bahadurshinh during interrogation had first spilled the beans on Solanki. He had told police that six mines of Shiva Solanki were non-operational because of Jethawa's application against them. Jethawa had also objected to the mobile towers here erected by Solanki, police sources said.

 

Shiva Solanki is the Vice President of the Kodinar Nagar Palika in Saurashtra.

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karira

An article by Krishna Pokharel in online.wsj.com on 10 September 2010:

India Grapples With Transparency Laws - WSJ.com

 

Indians Seek Transparency Amid Fear

 

Violent Incidents Have Increased Against Citizens Making Use of the 2005 Right to Information Act; Pursuing a Remedy

 

NEW DELHI—Amit Jethava bombarded officials in India's western state of Gujarat for five years with requests for information about the Asiatic lions, spotted deer and wild boar in a nature reserve near his village and the mining activity nearby that was a danger to the wildlife.

 

In May, Mr. Jethava petitioned the High Court of Gujarat to order the federal and state governments to put a stop to the illegal mining. In July, as he was leaving a meeting with his lawyers in Ahmedabad, he was shot to death. Four men have been arrested in connection with his death, which police say was in retaliation for his activism.

 

India's Right to Information Act—a groundbreaking piece of legislation in a nation that struggles with corruption and stifling bureaucracy—allows citizens to request information from any government entity except the paramilitary and intelligence departments. Since the law's passage in 2005, more than a million requests have been filed for information on teacher attendance to money spent on village roads to the age of electronic voting machines.

 

Overwhelmingly, those requests for what's abbreviated as RTI, haven't sparked attacks. But as the number has grown, violence targeting those making the requests has escalated, officials say, and threaten to damp voter confidence in a signature reform of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government.

 

"The number of murders has been mounting and that's a cause for grave concern," says Wajahat Habibullah, India's chief information commissioner. "A remedy has to be found." Parliament is expected to vote this year on a bill to protect whistleblowers.

 

Eight individuals seeking information under the law have been killed this year, activists say. Authorities don't challenge the number but local police are still investigating the deaths; they have not made a connection to RTI in most cases and challenge the connection in one.

 

Activists and the families of those killed say there is a clear connection between the killings and the issues the victims were probing. Ppeople have been targeted, they say, for uncovering shady deals and illegal activity by politicians, bureaucrats, companies and organized-crime figures. Nonlethal attacks, threats and harassment also are increasing, activists say.

 

Many ordinary Indians have successfully used information from RTI requests to force improvements to problems such as bad tap water and irregularities in public distribution systems, which allow poor families to buy essential commodities at low prices at special government-run stores. Such vigilance has increased the government's responsiveness to common concerns, say many officials and citizens who have used the law.

 

While various states have RTI activist groups, there is no formal national organization.

 

Most activists are volunteers.

 

"Fear diminishes when you seek and find the truth," says Shivaji Raut, a science teacher who has filed more than 180 information requests with the western state of Maharashtra, mainly involving government subsidies to wind power companies. "But you cannot find the truth when the fear for your life ... is so strong."

 

Mr. Raut says a state government minister, a local businessman and a local bureaucrat all warned him to stop his requests. In October 2009, someone threw stones at his house, breaking a window. "Up to that date, there was no fear in my mind," he says. But since then, he has stopped going for his regular morning and evening walks.

 

Dattatray Patil, a 47-year-old sugarcane farmer in the Kolhapur district, south of Mumbai, used the law to get information about land sold in his town. Mr. Patil discovered that a land dealer had falsely claimed ownership of a piece of land, and filed a complaint. The dealer was convicted of fraud and served a short jail sentence last year.

 

One evening in May, Mr. Patil, who had received calls demanding that he stop meddling, was beaten to death by eight men at his farm, according to police. "He just wanted to have a corruption-free country," said Kshamanand Patil, his elder brother.

 

Police arrested the land dealer and eight other men and charged them with murder. The dealer offered money and a new car to each of the eight in exchange for killing Mr. Patil, says Prakash Gaikwad, the police officer investigating the death.

 

A lawyer for the land dealer and the eight men says his clients deny the charge. He calls the case police "imagination," and notes police don't have eyewitnesses to the crime.

All nine men remain in custody.

 

Mr. Jethava, who brought the case against illegal mining in Gujarat, was a 34-year-old pharmacist who left a government job seven years ago to start the Gir Nature Youth Club, a group promoting the protection of wildlife in the Gir forest reserve, the world's last habitat for Asiatic lions.

 

L.M. Kandoriya, a public information officer at Gujarat's forest department, says Mr. Jethava submitted queries on everything from the health of lions on the reserve to what the government was doing to protect them from disease.

 

Through a query, in April, Mr. Jethava found out there were more than 50 unauthorized limestone mines near the preserve's border. Mining isn't allowed near protected forests because it blocks animals' movement and they can fall into open mines.

 

In May, Mr. Jethava filed his petition with the court, using the information he obtained to argue for a stop the mining.

 

"He was telling people the truth," says L.M. Kandoriya, a public information officer at Gujarat's forest department.

 

On July 20, Mr. Jethava was shot dead.

 

On Tuesday, police in Ahmedabad arrested a mine owner's nephew while he was trying to board a flight. Himanshu Shukla, the police officer investigating the case, said the nephew, Shiva Solanki allegedly received the help of a local police constable in killing Mr. Jethava in retaliation for threatening the mining business.

 

The constable and two other men from the area whom police allege helped to carry out the killing are already in custody, and police are searching for two other men for their alleged involvement in the killing. Mr. Shukla said the police also are investigating the possible role of others, including Mr. Solanki's uncle, Dinubhai Boghabhai Solanki, the mine owner and a member of Parliament, in the killing. No one has yet been charged in the case. A lawyer representing Messrs. Solanki and Boghabhai said his clients had permission from the state government to mine in the area, but declined to comment further. Mr. Boghabhai didn't respond to phone calls seeking comment.

 

S.K. Nanda, Gujarat's principal secretary for forests and environment, denied that the government had given anyone permission to mine near the forest.

 

 

 

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karira

As reported in indianexpress.com on 03 October 2010:

Jethava killing: Cops nab key suspect

 

Jethava killing: Cops nab key suspect

 

 

The Ahmedabad Crime Branch on Saturday arrested Uday Thakore, an associate of Shailesh Pandya, a sharpshooter who allegedly shot RTI activist Amit Jethava dead outside the Gujarat High Court on July 20.

 

Thakore, who allegedly accompanied Pandya at the time of the murder, was arrested near Geeta Mandir following a tip-off about his arrival in Ahmedabad. The identity of Thakore, a native of Gandhidham, had remained unknown for over two months since the murder.

 

According to Crime Branch’s investigation so far, Jethava’s murder was planned by now suspended police constable Bahadursinh Vadher and Pratap Solanki, the nephew of BJP Junagadh MP Dinu Solanki.

 

Vadher and Solanki, both in police custody, are said to have given a contract of Rs 11 lakh for eliminating Jethava. Inspector M D Chaudhary said, “Both planned to get Jethava eliminated with the help of one Pachan Shiva, who arranged for sharpshooters Shailesh Pandya and Uday Thakore to carry out the plan.” Pandya is still at large.

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jps50

ePaper Lite - Times of India Publications

 

TIMES OF INDIA AHMEDABAD EDN 17-11-2010

 

RTI activists killer nabbed from Mumbai

 

TIMES NEWS NETWORK

 

Ahmedabad: Mumbai crime branch officials nabbed Sailesh Pandya, the man who had shot RTI and environment activist ,Amit Jethava. Pandya was absconding since Jethavas murder on July 20.He was nabbed on Tuesday on the basis of a tip-off received by Mumbai cops about a gang of criminals operating in the area.The cops have also seized a revolver from Pandya. Police sources say that it is the same weapon used to kill Jethava opposite Gujarat high court.

 

According to sources, Pandya was hiding in Mumbai and was in touch with other criminals. Sources added that Rajiv Kadam, additional commissioner of police (crime),Mumbai had got information about a criminal and found Pandya during a search. During questioning, he said that he was wanted in Gujarat in connection with a 2010 murder case and two attempt to murder cases of 2008.

 

When TOI contacted city crime branch officials, they feigned ignorance about the development. However, later, after contacting their counterparts in Mumbai, city police officials confirmed the arrest .According to a senior official, a team will start off for Mumbai early on Wednesday to get custody of him, after Mumbai police completes the formalities.

 

Jethava was shot dead at point-blank range by Pandya, along with another man, Pachan Shiva. The duo came near Jethava when he was coming out of Satyamev Complex opposite HC on July 20.Officials said that Jethavas role as an activist had hindered some projects in protected forest areas.This had irked the powerful mining lobby.

 

In subsequent investigation, four persons were arrested for the murder, including Shiva Solanki, nephew of Junagadh MP Dinu Solanki, Bahadursinh Vadher,a police constable, Pachan Shiva, Vadhers friend and Sanjay Chauhan, who pointed out Jethava to Pandya.

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karira

As reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 19 February 2011:

Second chargesheet filed in Amit Jethava murder case - The Times of India

 

Second chargesheet filed in Amit Jethava murder case

 

AHMEDABAD: The city crime branch on Friday filed a voluminous supplementary chargesheet in the RTI activist Amit Jethava murder case. The report was filed after the arrest of the sixth accused Shailesh Pandya, who is a sharpshooter.

 

One Bahadursinh Rathod, who is believed to have helped the accused persons in carrying out illegal mining activities in the prohibited Gir sanctuary, has been shown as an absconder in the chargesheet. The investigating agency has been maintaining that Pandya had fired on Jethava on July 20, last year in front of the Gujarat high court campus.

 

Five persons, including Shiva Solanki, who is a nephew of BJP MP from Junaghadh Dinu Bogha Solanki, were arrested by the police. They were chargesheeted last year. Pandya was arrested after the first chargesheet was filed. Jethava was killed after he filed a PIL in the high court against illegal mining activities in the Gir sanctuary.

 

He had accused the BJP MP of indulging in the activity and sought action against him. After the murder, Jethava's family members accused the BJP MP of murdering Jethava.

 

During a hearing on Jethava's PIL earlier this week, the high court expressed satisfaction over the state government's actions to curb illegal mining and the judges proposed to dispose of the petition. On getting a nod from the counsel of Jethava's family, the high court disposed of the PIL.

 

Meanwhile, Jethava's father moved the high court demanding CBI probe in the murder case. This petition is pending in the high court.

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Ketan Modi

Karira Sir,

Thanks for the update. This will keep Amitbhai's memory amongst some of his friends like me who had never met him yet were in touch with him till a few hours before the cowardly incident. His biggest contribution to the RTI applicants in Gujarat were getting the payment of fee rule amended whereby now even postal orders are acceptable and secondly due to Amitbhai's single handed campaign, Gandhinagar was directed by the Gujarat High Court to appoint two new ICs. RTI Community misses such crusaders.

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karira

As reported in indianexpress.com on 12 March 2011:

Jethava murder: BJP MP Solanki gets clean chit

 

Jethava murder: BJP MP Solanki gets clean chit

 

 

The City Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) probing into the murder of RTI activist Amit Jethava has given a clean chit to the controversial BJP MP from Junagadh, Dinu Solanki, in the case. S M Chaudhary, the investigation officer, recently submitted an affidavit in the Gujarat High Court with reference to a petition demanding CBI probe into the case.

 

In its affidavit, the DCB official has stated that they had interrogated Solanki on September 16 last year and found no evidence showing his involvement in the same.

 

Jethava was shot dead in front of High Court in July last year. His father, Bhikha Jethava, has alleged that the BJP MP from Junagadh was behind the killing since his son had filed a PIL in the HC to check illegal mining in the periphery of Gir Sanctuary, which is allegedly going on at the behest of Dinu Solanki.

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karira

As reported by IANS in inewsone.com on 07 April 2011:

http://www.inewsone.com/2011/04/07/gujarat-court-accepts-plea-for-cbi-probe-in-activists-murder/41808

 

Gujarat court accepts plea for CBI probe in activist’s murder

 

Gandhinagar, April 7 (IANS) The Gujarat High Court Thursday admitted a petition for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the murder of right to information (RTI) activist Amit Jethwa in Ahmedabad last year.

 

The bench of Justice A.L. Dave and Justice R.M. Chhaya admitted the petition filed by Jethwa’s father Bhikhubhai Jethwa.

 

The court, while admitting the plea, directed that Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s name be deleted from the list of respondents.

 

Jethwa was shot dead near the high court July 20, last year. His father blamed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Junagadh constituency Dinu Solanki and his men for the killing.

 

Jethwa was killed after he filed a public interest litigation in connection with alleged illegal mining near Sasan Gir lion sanctuary.

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karira

As reported in expressindia.com on 09 Sep 2011:

http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/jethava-murder-high-court-asks-for-investigation-papers/843954/

 

Jethava murder: High Court asks for investigation papers

 

The Gujarat High Court has ordered the police authorities to place before it all the investigation papers related to the murder of RTI activist Amit Jethava. The court passed the order while hearing a petition moved by Amit’s father Bhikha Jethava, who had demanded a CBI probe into the murder.

 

Amit Jethava was killed on July 20 last year in front of the High Court premises on the SG Highway, a few days after he filed a PIL seeking court’s intervention to check illegal mining in the periphery of Gir Sanctuary. In his PIL, Jethava had made direct allegations against Dinu Solanki, the BJP MP from Junagadh, holding him responsible for the alleged illegal mining.

 

The murder case was first investigated by the Sola High Court Police Station and was subsequently handed over to the Ahmedabad City Detection of Crime Branch (DCB), which made several arrests in the case, including of Shiva Solanki, the nephew of Dinu Solanki. According to DCB, Shiva had given a contract of Rs 11 lakh for Jethava’s killing. In its chargesheet, DCB did not name Dinu Solanki.

 

Bhikha Jethava, who wants the BJP MP’s role probed too, has moved his petition for a CBI probe through his advocate Anand Yagnik. The petition is being heard by the division bench comprising Justices D H Waghela and J C Upadhyay.

 

Yagnik said the final hearing is expected to begin from September 15.

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karira

As reported by PTI in news.outlookindia.com on 19 Oct 2011:

http://news.outlookindia.com/items.aspx?artid=738783

 

Gujarat: Probe Ordered into RTI Activist Jethva's Murder

 

The Gujarat High court today ordered further probe into the murder of RTI 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 IPS officer of the rank of Additional Director General of Police and the report be submitted by November 28.

 

Amit's father Bhikha had filed a petition in the high court, seeking probe by the CBI or any other independent agency, in October 2010.

 

In the petition he had alleged that BJP MP 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.

 

Amit 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.

 

Bhikha 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 charge sheet, 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. Amit had filed a public interest litigation only a few days before his murder.

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jps50

http://lite.epaper.timesofindia.com/getpage.aspx?pageid=4&pagesize=&edid=&edlabel=TOIA&mydateHid=20-10-2011&pubname=&edname=&publabel=TOI

 

TIMES OF INDIA EPAPER 20-10-2011

 

Probe deeper in Jethava murder case: HC to cops

 

Two Senior Police Officials Will Supervise Investigations,HC To Continue Monitoring

 

TIMES NEWS NETWORK

 

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat high court on Wednesday asked the city police to conduct further investigation in the murder of RTI activist Amit Jethava.

The high court has decided to monitor this case again.It directed that the probe be carried out under direct supervision of two senior police officials ADGP of CID (crime) and special commissioner of city crime branch.A bench constituting Justice D H Waghela and Justice J C Upadhyay also directed that the further probe will be conducted by an IPS officer.

Jethavas father Bhikhalal has sought CBI inquiry into the murder on the ground that the investigating agency was shielding BJP MP from Junagadh Dinu Bogha Solanki.

Jethava was shot dead on July 20 last year in front of HC campus,a few days after he filed a PIL demanding court directions to curb illegal mining activities in prohibited Gir sanctuary.He had accused the BJP MP in his petition.The high court monitored the probe for some time but stopped after the petition was disposed.

Six persons including Solankis nephew,Shiva,were arrested for the murder.After the arrest and filing of two chargesheets,the city crime branch did not move ahead in its probe.This led Jethavas father to move HC with a complaint that police were shielding the Junagadh MP.

When the high court inquired about status of the investigation and particularly what efforts were made to determine Solankis involvement in the case,the state government could not put forth satisfactory reasons for not investigating alleged role of the parliamentarian.

On HC query,the state government admitted that Solankis call details were also not fully scrutinized.The crime branch recorded Solankis statement after Jethavas father moved the high court.However,the judges were not convinced with the efforts and observed that mere recording a statement does not mean investigation.

Finally,the judges asked the investigating agency to complete further probe and place the report before the court by November 28.

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karira

As reported by Prashant Dayal in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 13 Nov 2011:

Now, Surendranagar SP to probe Jethava murder - The Times of India

 

Now, Surendranagar SP to probe Jethava murder

 

AHMEDABAD: Investigation in the murder of RTI activist Amit Jethava has been transferred from the city crime branch to Surendranagar SP Raghavendra Vats after the Gujarat high court ordered a further probe, sources said.

 

Jethava was shot dead in front of the high court premises on July 20 last year.

 

On October 19, HC directed further investigation in this case by a Class I officer of the IPS rank under the supervision of the special commissioner, crime branch or an officer of rank of additional DGP. Instead of handing over the probe to a higher probe agency like CID (crime), the state government chose to shift it to the district police, which lacks resources for detection of the offence in comparison with the crime branch, sources said.

 

However, special commissioner Mohan Jha will continue to supervise the investigation.

 

Interestingly, HC has granted time till November 28 to complete the further probe. However, it took nearly 20 days for the government to transfer the probe. Surendranagar SP only has 16 days to complete the task now.

 

HC ordered further investigation after Jethava's father Bhikhalal alleged that the probe agency was shielding Junagadh BJP MP Dinu Bogha Solanki and not probing beyond the role of his nephew Shiva. This despite the fact that Jethava had made specific accusations against him in his PIL against illegal mining in the Gir Sanctuary.

 

The crime branch recorded Solanki's statement only after HC began questioning the probe. A bench headed by justice D H Waghela even asked the crime branch whether recording Solanki's statement was adequate from the angle of probing his involvement in the case.

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karira

As reported by Prashant Dayal in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 23 Dec 2011:

Jethava case: Investigator seeks nod for narco test - The Times of India

 

Jethava case: Investigator seeks nod for narco test

 

AHMEDABAD: Superintendent of police Surendranagar, Raghavendra Vatsa, who is probing the RTI activist Amit Jethava murder case, has sought permission to conduct narco analysis on six arrested accused. Vatsa has filed an application in the sessions court in this connection.

 

Vatsa said that the test is necessary to ascertain whether the member of parliament, Dinu Solanki, is connected to the murder case. The slain activist's father Bhikha Jethava had accused Solanki of masterminding his son's murder.

 

Amit was shot on July 20, 2010, at 8.30 pm outside the Gujarat high court by two persons. A complaint was later lodged with the Sola police. Investigation in the case was later handed over to crime branch and six persons were arrested including two shooters. Solanki's nephew Shiva Solanki was also among those arrested.

 

Not convinced by the police investigation, Bhikha moved the Gujarat high court, alleging that Ahmedabad crime branch was trying to shield the MP. On November 12, HC handed over the probe to Surendranagar SP. Vatsa had sought police remand for all the six accused on December 7. However, the remand application was rejected. Vatsa then questioned the accused inside the Sabarmati Central Jail.

 

After this session, Vatsa told the court that the accused were hiding more than they were ready to reveal. To unearth the truth, he felt, that the accused should be subjected to forensic interrogation through narco and lie-detection tests.

 

Vatsa cited six reasons for conducting the narco test. He told the court that he had grilled all the accused between December 12 and 14. "When I asked them about Solanki, all the accused gave unsatisfactory replies and seemed to be hiding much," he said . Two other accused - Bahadur Vader and Sailesh Pandya - were questioned about the weapon used to shoot Amit. Vatsa told the court that both gave contradictory statements.

 

In a similar manner, when an accused Pachan Desai was asked about the car used in the murder, he too gave contradictory statement about the ownership of the vehicle.

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karira

As reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 14 Jan 2012:

Court refuses narco test in Jethava murder case - The Times of India

 

Court refuses narco test in Jethava murder case

 

 

AHMEDABAD: City sessions court on Friday turned down application seeking narco analysis test permission on six accused arrested in RTI activist Amit Jethava murder case. Superintendent of police Surendranagar Raghavendra Vatsa, who is probing the Jethava case, had filed the application in the sessions court.

 

Vatsa said that the test is necessary to ascertain whether the Member of Parliament Dinu Solanki was involved in the murder case. The slain activist's father Bhikha Jethava had accused Solanki of masterminding the crime.

 

However, the six accused in the case, including Solanki's nephew Shiva Solanki, refused to undergo the test. With the Supreme Court judgment stating that narco, polygraph or brainmapping tests cannot be conducted on any person, whether an accused or a suspect, without their consent, the application was turned down.

 

Vatsa had sought police remand for all the six accused on December 7. However, the remand application was rejected. Vatsa then questioned the accused inside the Sabarmati Central Jail.

 

Vatsa told the court that the accused were hiding critical information. To unearth the truth, he felt, that the accused should be subjected to forensic interrogation through narco and lie-detection tests. Vatsa cited six reasons for conducting the narco test. He told the court that he had grilled all the accused in December.

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karira

As reported by Hiral Dave in indianexpress.com on 04 Feb 2012:

Senior Jethava submits ‘proof’ of Junagadh MP’s role - Indian Express

 

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

 

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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karira

As reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 08 Feb 2012:

Jethava murder: Probe report submitted in HC - The Times of India

 

Jethava murder: Probe report submitted in HC

 

AHMEDABAD: Superintendent of police Surendranagar, Raghavendra Vatsa, who is probing the RTI activist Amit Jethava murder case, submitted his probe report to the Gujarat high court in a sealed cover on Tuesday. The report was filed on HC's instruction to probe the alleged role of BJP MP from Junagadh, Dinu Bogha Solanki, in the killing of the RTI activist in 2010.

 

Jethava's father, Bhikhalal, had sought further probe on the ground that the city crime branch did not probe the case beyond a point in order to shield the politician. Amit in his PIL against illegal mining in the Gir sanctuary had levelled accusations against Solanki for violating all environment norms. HC has kept further hearing on February 28, when the IO will be filing the final report.

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karira

As reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 29 Feb 2012:

BJP MP Dinu Solanki gets clean chit in Jethava murder case - The Times of India

 

BJP MP Dinu Solanki gets clean chit in Jethava murder case

 

AHMEDABAD: The BJP MP from Junagadh, Dinu Bogha Solanki, has got a clean chit from the investigating officer (IO) in connection with the murder of RTI activist, Amit Jethava.

 

On Tuesday, Surendranagar SP, Raghavendra Vats submitted his voluminous investigation report before the Gujarat high court as per court's direction to probe deeper in Solanki's alleged role in the murder.

 

Jethava had filed a PIL alleging that Solanki was involved in illegal mining activity in the Gir sanctuary. Few days later, he was shot dead in front of the high court campus on July 20, 2010. City crime branch took up the probe and arrested six persons including Solanki's nephew, Shiva Solanki for conspiracy and planning Jethava's murder.

 

The city crime branch did not move ahead in its investigation after arresting the six. Jethava's father, Bhikhalal moved HC demanding CBI probe alleging that Gujarat police was shielding the BJP MP. Upon HC directions, Vats carried out further probe.

 

With his probe report, he has filed an affidavit stating that he has found involvement of no other accused person other than those already arrested and charge-sheeted. In his probe report, which also carried 11-page long statement by Solanki, Vats told the court that call details records were obtained and analysed, bank records were scrutinized to find out whether any transaction had taken place to pay the assassins.

 

Vat's probe report said that it was Shiva himself who had conspired and paid the amount to assassins by asking the money of his share of ancestral land from his brother. Besides, investigation was carried out in Solanki's mining business, but the IO found no shred of evidence implicating the BJP MP in this murder.

 

A bench of justices D H Waghela and J C Upadhyay has kept hearing on this case on March 16.

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Sajib Nandi

Reported by Dnaindia.com on Jun 30, 2012

High Court to conduct final hearing in Amit Jethva murder case - India - DNA

 

A bench of the Gujarat high court comprising justices DH Waghela and JC Upadhyay will hold final hearing of Amit Jethva murder case on July 10 and 11 over the issue of handing over the investigation to the CBI.

 

Sources close to the development said that the high court bench will hear both the petitioner and government during those two days and decide the petition whether or not to hand over the probe to the central agency.

 

Within days after he had filed a PIL seeking probe in the illegal mining activities in Gir sanctuary and various places of Junagadh, Amit Jethava was killed in cold blood by an assailant outside the Satyamev Complex in front of the Gujarat high court on July 20, 2010.

 

Jethava was prominent RTI activist and was fighting to preserve forest and stop illegal mining in the area. He hailed from Khambha taluka of Amreli district. Jethava's father Bhikha Jethava filed petition seeking handing over probe of the case to the CBI alleging that his son was killed in the insistence of BJP MP, Dinu Bogha Solanki, who is allegedly running illegal mining activities in Junagadh. According to Jethava senior, Solanki had also earlier made threatening calls to his son not to act against them. The first investigation done by DCB and after a lot of hue and cry had arrested few people including Dinu Solanki's nephew and president of the Kodinar Municipality, Shiva Solanki, alleged contract killer Shailesh Pandya, a police constable Bahadursinh Vadher and three other persons in connection with the murder.

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aslamkhan

CBI to probe Amit Jethwa murder case

Zeenews Bureau

 

New Delhi: In a major development, the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday ordered a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the 2010 murder of a prominent (Right to Information) RTI activist and 'green crusader' Amit Jethwa.

 

Jethwa was shot dead by some unidentified assailants near the Gujarat High Court on July 20, 2010.

 

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

 

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Jethwa had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Gujarat High Court. The petition alleged that mining activities were being carried out in Una and Kodinar in Saurashtra allegedly by Junagadh BJP MP Dinubhai Boghabhai 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 Gir forests.

 

The Gujarat Police Crime Branch later gave a clean chit to BJP MP Dinu Solanki in connection with the Jethva murder case.

 

Dissatisfied over the clean chit given to the BJP MP, Amit's father, Bhikha, ;later filed a petition in the High Court, seeking probe by the CBI or any other independent agency, in October 2010.

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aslamkhan

Amit Jethwa case: High court orders CBI probe into RTI activist's murder | NDTV.com

 

 

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court has ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe the murder case of RTI activist Amit Jethwa.

 

The court order came after Mr Jethwa's father filed a petition in the court against the Gujarat Crime Branch's investigation into the case. Mr Jethwa's family wants Junagadh BJP MP Dinu Solanki to be probed in the matter. But the Crime Branch has ruled out his role in the case.

 

So far, six accused have been arrested in the case, including Dinu Solanki's nephew Shiva Solanki.

 

Mr Jethwa was shot dead from close range by two motorcycle-borne assailants near the Gujarat High Court in July 2010. Days before his murder, he had filed a Public Interest Litigation against illegal mining in Gir forest region in the High Court.

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