Godhra/Ahmedabad: A Gujarat MLA belonging to ruling BJP, who has been charged with attempt to murder in a case related to firing during polling, on Wednesday moved a court seeking anticipatory bail.
Jetha Bharwad, who allegedly opened fire at a polling booth, injuring four people on December 17, sought interim protection from arrest in an application filed before a Judge in Godhra town of Panchmahal district.
The legislator from Sahera in Panchmahal district is seeking re-election from the same constituency.
"As I have contested the Assembly election my presence during the counting of votes (on December 20) and other poll- related process is necessary. For these reasons, the court should grant me anticipatory bail," Bharwad said in his plea.
District Judge DT Soni will hear the application tomorrow at 11 am.
The lawmaker and his bodyguard have been accused of firing at some people at a polling station in Tarsang village during the second phase of voting.
Bharwad had suffered head injuries after being pelted with stones and was initially admitted in a private hospital in Godhra. He has rejected the charges levelled against him.
"This is a conspiracy to malign my image. I had gone to polling stations to verify the information about bogus voting taking place at 15-odd booths," he said.
"When I reached the village, some people tried to attack me. My bodyguard was also attacked. Then my bodyguard opened fire in self-defence. If he had not resorted to firing, we would have been killed," he told reporters in Godhra.
In the wee hours on December 18, Bharwad was admitted to a private hospital in Ahmedabad, about 150km from Godhra, for CT scan, but he allegedly escaped from the hospital.
Eight policemen, including a Sub-Inspector, who had escorted him from Godhra to Ahmedabad, were suspended for dereliction in discharge of duty.