News18» News»Politics»CBI arrests BJP MP over murder of RTI activist Amit Jethwa
2-MIN READ

CBI arrests BJP MP over murder of RTI activist Amit Jethwa

CBI arrests BJP MP over murder of RTI activist Amit Jethwa

Six persons, including the BJP MP's nephew and sharp shooter Sailesh Pandya who had shot at Jethwa have been arrested in the case.

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday arrested Bharatiya Janta Party's (BJP) MP from Junagarh Dinu Solanki for his alleged involvement in the murder case of RTI activist Amit Jethwa.

The BJP MP from Junagarh had already been questioned by the CBI in connection with Jethwa's murder case in July 2010. His nephew Shiva Solanki and 5 others have been lodged in jail in the same case. Jethwa had been campaigning against illegal mining in the Gir reserve. His family claims that the MP had hatched the conspiracy to kill Jethwa.

Solanki arrived at the CBI headquarters on Tuesday morning and was questioned by a special team. He had earlier been given a clean chit by the Gujarat Police.

CBI had registered a case on the directions of the Gujarat High Court which in its order had criticised the state police for their shoddy investigations in the murder.

Jethwa was a Right to Information (RTI) and environment activist who had filed numerous RTI applications and a PIL against illegal mining in Gir forest region. He was shot dead outside the Gujarat High Court on July 20, 2010.

A case was registered against unnamed persons under Section 302 (murder) of IPC and Gujarat Police arrested six persons, including Shiva Solanki, nephew of the BJP MP, and sharp shooter Sailesh Pandya who had shot at Jethwa. Gujarat Police's crime branch had ruled out any involvement of Dinu Bogha Solanki in the murder.

The killing had sparked an uproar among RTI activists across the country who raised concerns over the safety of such whistle blowers, prompting the father of the deceased to move the High Court demanding a CBI probe. In his plea before the High Court, Bhikabhai has alleged the state police had not properly probed the case and the state government was shielding the BJP MP.

The court had said the probe in the case was "far from fair, independent, bona fide or prompt". "It has come on record that Shiva Solanki and DB (Dinu Bogha Solanki) were living together in a joint family and no investigator could have been easily satisfied with the statements that they did not interact in respect of the conspiracy to commit a capital crime," the court had said.

Jethwa had filed several petitions in the Gujarat High Court, including a Public Interest Litigation in connection with illegal mining in Gir forests in Junagadh district which is a protected area and last home to Asiatic lions.

first published:November 05, 2013, 18:26 IST