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 D T 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.