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CBI to probe RTI activist Amit Jethwa's murder

Sep 25, 2012 03:37 PM IST India India

Ahmedabad: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will take over the probe into the murder of Right to Information (RTI) activist Amit Jethwa. The case has been transferred to the CBI after the Gujarat Police gave a clean chit to BJP MP Dinu Solanki in February 2012.

The court observed that investigation by the Gujarat police in the Jethwa murder case was far from satisfactory and to instil the confidence and sense of justice in the probe, the court is compelled to transfer it in the hands of CBI.

The court asked the CBI to carry forward further investigation and directed all officers who were involved in the probe so far to cooperate with the agency. The court also asked the earlier investigating officer to provide all probe-related papers to the CBI within 10 days.

After the pronouncement of the judgement, the government pleader requested for a stay of three weeks to challenge the order in the higher forum, but it was rejected by the court.

Amit's father Bhikabhai Jethwa had sought a CBI probe alleging that Solanki was behind the murder. Amit was shot dead near the Gujarat High Court in July 2010.

Bhikabhai had approached the High Court saying that the state police had not properly investigated the case. He had alleged that Junagadh BJP MP Dinu Solanki was behind the murder but the state government was shielding him.

Gujarat police had arrested six people in the case including BJP MP Dinu Solanki's nephew Shiva Solanki and sharp shooter Sailesh Pandya, who had fired at Jethwa.

During the course of hearing in the case, Bhikhabhai had alleged that police had not conducted any investigation in the alleged involvement of Solanki in the murder of Amit.

Following this, the court had directed for further probe in the case to be done by the then Superintendent of Police, Surendranagar, Raghvendra Vatsa, and ordered him to specifically probe the role of the BJP MP.

After his probe, Vatsa had concluded that he did not find any evidence of Amit Jethwa being murdered at the behest of olanki and had given a clean chit to him.

RTI activist Amit Jethwa was killed on July 20,2010 near the Gujarat High Court by unidentified men. Ahmedabad police official said that some unidentified men on a motorcycle fired at Jethwa killing him.

Amit was reportedly coming out of a building after meeting his lawyer and was 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 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.

(With additional information from PTI)