Ahmedabad: A day after leading RTI activist Amit Jethwa was shot dead outside the Gujarat High Court in Ahmedabad after filing a recent PIL against illegal mining mafia, his family on Wednesday alleged that BJP MP from Junagadh, Dinu Solanki, was behind the murder.
Bhiku Jethwa, Amit`s father said, "I strongly suspect that Dinu Solanki is behind my son`s murder because he has threatened me on telephone. He also threatened Amit many times. My son was threatened in Kodinar and Khamba towns in front of large crowds, a thousand strong. But nobody dared to report the matter."
Amit had just come out after meeting his lawyer and was getting into his vehicle parked near the office of the state bar council, opposite the Gujarat High Court, when two unidentified people on a motor cycle fired a single shot at him.
According to eyewitnesses, Jethwa, who was seriously injured, pounced on the two, toppling them from the motor cycle and tried to hold them. The two, however, fled leaving behind their motorcycle, the revolver and a bag.
Jethwa died on the spot even as an ambulance was being called. His body has been moved to the government civil hospital for autopsy, a police official said.
He had recently filed a PIL in the Gujarat High Court against illegal mining in Gir forest. Following his PIL, the authorities had cracked down on the illegal mining activities in Gir forest and other areas on the Saurashtra coast.
Dinu Solanki could not be reached on his mobile phone or
the telephones at his residence and office for comments
despite repeated efforts.
State BJP spokesperson IK Jadeja also refused to
comment on the allegations made by father of the RTI
activists, saying it was not a political issue.
"Allegations are often made. Only when they are proved,
the party discusses and takes action," he said.
Among other cases taken up by Jethwa, who was also president of the Gir Nature club, was the appointment of two additional information commissioners to hear RTI appeals which had piled up. This was accomplished after the court`s intervention. He had also sought the court`s intervention for filling up the long vacant post of Lok Ayukta (ombudsman) in the state.