The Gujarat high court has lambasted the state police government for “genuflecting before people in power” and ordered a probe into a mob attack on a family allegedly led by former BJP parliamentarian Dinu Solanki.
The observations came after judges watched a video that purportedly showed Solanki leading a mob and vandalising a vehicle outside the house of Jetunben Rafiqbhai Salot in Kodinar town.
The BJP leader is an accused in the 2010 murder case of RTI activist Amit Jethwa and is known to be close to party chief Amit Shah. The Saurashtra strongman is out on bail and his name figures nowhere in the FIR filed in the Salot case.
“The entire state machinery appears to be stacked in favour of Solanki, probably, because he belongs to the ruling dispensation,” the court said, directing the police to file a fresh FIR.
The court also ordered police to “ensure that a proper, unbiased and meaningful investigation is carried in the matter”.
Jetunben moved the HC to quash an FIR filed by the local police as it did not name Solanki. She also sought investigation in the attack by the crime investigation department. She appealed to the court to cancel Solanki’s bail as he was involved in an act of violence. The court observed that if the state government was serious, it should approach the Supreme Court to get his bail cancelled.
As per details of the case, the mob was allegedly looking for Jetunben’s husband Rafiq Salot who was not at home when the attack took place.
After watching the video of the incident presented by Jetunben’s lawyer, justice J B Pardiwala observed: “…I wondered for some time whether I was a judge in the state of Gujarat or in any other state. The video speaks for itself.”
On the government’s argument in defence that Jetunben’s husband Rafique has a criminal past, the court said, “I take notice of the fact that the writ applicant belongs to a minority community. The incident, like the case at hand, could have easily triggered communal tension.”
“The clouds of danger hovering over the social, economic and political scenario of India cannot be blown away so long as corruption, criminalisation of politics, politicization of crime and corruption and politicization of bureaucracy occur,” the judge added.