Activist Amit Jethva’s father blames BJP MP for his death
The father of rights activist Amit Jethva, who was shot dead by two assailants on Tuesday night, has alleged that a senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader could be behind his son’s killing.india Updated: Jul 22, 2010 00:32 IST
The father of rights activist Amit Jethva, who was shot dead by two assailants on Tuesday night, has alleged that a senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader could be behind his son’s killing.
“I strongly suspect that Junagadh MP Dinu Solanki is behind the murder of my son because Solanki had threatened Amit and me several times in the past,” Bhiku Jethva told mediapersons at the city’s Sola Hospital here on Wednesday.
Jethva had recently filed a public interest litigation in the Gujarat High Court, challenging illegal mining of limestone in the Gir forest area. This had prompted the government to crack down against illegal quarries in the area. Solanki and his relatives were allegedly involved in these mining activities.
“He was fighting the corrupt system and people closely connected with the ruling party (BJP). He had exposed the nexus of government officials and mining mafias. Unfortunately, he had to pay a heavy price for this,” Bhiku said.
The police are investigating the case.
“It’s too premature to attribute any motive for the murder,” said SS Khandwawala, Gujarat DGP. “At this point of time, we can only confirm that the murder has been carried out by professional killers who left behind their vehicle and a country-made revolver.”
BJP spokesman IK Jadeja refused to comment on the allegation saying it was not a political issue. “Allegations are often made but when they are proved, the party will discuss them and take action,” he said.
Opposition leader Shaktisinh Gohil demanded a comprehensive probe against Solanki and his relatives.
Jethva had emerged as a leading activist in Gujarat in recent years, spearheading several campaigns against influential people.
He had got hold of details of financial irregularities and other acts of corruption committed by government officials using the Right to Information (RTI) Act, and then challenged these illegal activities in the judiciary through litigations.
However, there are allegations that Jethva used to blackmail and extort money from industry and government officials.
The Congress has demanded a thorough probe into the allegations that a Gujarat BJP MP was behind the killing of Jethva.
“It is a serious issue and should be thoroughly investigated to bring the guilty to the book,” party spokesman Manish Tewari said.
(With PTI inputs)