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Gujarat BJP leader murdered on moving train, family blames party rival

The body of the former MLA was found with two bullet injuries on Sayaji Nagari Express around 2am. Though a licensed revolver was found on him, the two wounds, one on the chest and another on the forehead, indicate it was not suicide but murder, police said.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2019 12:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
Gujarat BJP leader killed,Jayanti Bhanushali,Murder on train
The body of the former BJP MLA Jayanti Bhanushali was found with two bullet injuries on Sayaji Nagari Express around 2am on Tuesday.(AP file photo)

A BJP leader and former legislator from Abdasa in Gujarat’s Kutch Jayanti Bhanushali was allegedly shot dead in a train between Bhuj and Samakhiyali early on Tuesday, police said.

The body of the former MLA was found with two bullet injuries in the G1 coach of Sayaji Nagari Express around 2am. Though a licensed revolver was found on him, the two wounds, one on the chest and another on the forehead, indicate it was not suicide but murder, police said.

The family of Bhanushali, who was travelling from Bhuj to Ahmedabad, has accused another BJP leader Chhabil Patel of the murder. Patel is also a former Abdasa MLA.

“A thorough investigation will be conducted and strict action will be taken against those guilty,” chief minister Vijay Rupani said, according to news agency ANI.

The Western Railway has formed a special investigation team, headed by deputy superintendent PP Viroja, to probe the murder.

The railway police said the train had started around 10:25pm and railway staff had recovered his body in his coach around 1:25am. The railway police spokesperson said Bhanushali’s body was found when the train was about to reach Maliya station.

Bhanushali had last year resigned as state vice-president after he was accused of rape. The woman who had filed the rape case against him had later withdrawn it from the Gujarat high court.

The incident also involved Patel, who had joined the BJP in 2014 after resigning as Congress MLA. The rivalry between the two came to the fore when Patel lost the Abdasa by-election and blamed Bhanushali for sabotaging his chances.

Patel was also arrested in connection with a rape case last year.

First Published: Jan 08, 2019 11:13 IST