Senior Gujarat Congress leaders met Governor O P Kohli, demanding a CBI probe into the custodial death of a Patidar man in Mehsana recently, even as the state government produced “facts of the case” in newspaper advertisements on Sunday. A delegation of senior Congress leaders — led by state party president Bharatsinh Solanki and legislature party leader Shankersinh Vaghela —submitted a memorandum over the death of Ketan Patel to the Governor.
Later, addressing a press conference, Solanki said, “Today, we met the Governor and demanded a CBI probe into the case of custodial death of Ketan Patel… Situation of law and order in Gujarat has worsened, a lot and people are being suppressed in an autocratic manner..In Jam-Jodhpur also, one Nikunj Patel is battling for life after he was framed and mercilessly beaten up by police…Tomorrow, Congress will hold protests in all the districts against such incidents.”
“Generally, whenever such incident happens, concerned police officials are suspended and an FIR is registered against them. But, nothing of that sort has happened in this case. We have demanded the Governor to immediately suspend concerned police officials and get the matter investigated by the CBI,” Solanki added. The Congress leader said that no senior leader from the ruling party or the government, so far, has visited the family of Ketan.
He alleged Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel was trying to “hush up” the matter. Meanwhile, the Gujarat government Sunday issued advertisements in local newspapers, producing “facts of the case” and asking people not to be misguided by certain persons who “are doing politics” over the death of Ketan. In the advertisement, the government also that alleged that some “elements with political interests” are trying to instigate violence over the issue and not allowing registration of an FIR in the case from Ketan’s relatives against police officials allegedly responsible for his death.
Ketan, a resident of Balol village, had died at Civil Hospital after he reportedly complained of “fever and uneasiness” at Mehsana sub-jail. Ketan was arrested on June 3 in connection with a case of theft of Rs 9,500 from a shop of one Bharat Barot after which he was sent to judicial custody on June 4. Ketan’s family members alleged that he died due to the injuries he sustained in police custody and demanded registration of an FIR against responsible police officials.
So far, two postmortems have been conducted on Ketan’s body — second postmortem has shown more than 50 “superficial” injuries on the body. The deceased’s family has not been accepting the body, demanding an FIR against police officials “responsible” for his death. A number of people, mainly from the Patidar community, have joined Ketan’s relatives in their protest at Mehsana Civil Hospital by sitting on hunger strike. Congress MLA from Vijapur P I Patel is one of them.
On Sunday, condition of Ketan’s father Mahendra and the Vijapur MLA deteriorated after which they were shifted to the Mehsana Civil Hospital.