HOURS AFTER a journalist was allegedly stabbed to death in his office in Junagadh Monday night, his family members pointed fingers at the son of a former minister. However, police said they had no evidence to link the politician’s son to the murder.
Kishor Dave, the 53-year-old Junagadh bureau chief of Gujarati newspaper Jai Hind, was murdered in his office at Shreeraj Complex of Vanzari Chowk in Junagadh city, police said. The assailants allegedly barged into the office when Dave was alone and stabbed him multiple times. The journalist bled to death sometime before 9.15 pm, police said. “Dave would return home around 9 pm every day. After he did not reach home on Monday, his family tried to contact him but couldn’t. His nephew Yagnesh Bhatt then went to the office and found him dead,” Junagadh B division police inspector Mahendra Makwana said. Based on Bhatt’s complaint, police registered a case of murder against unidentified persons.
Junagadh Superintendent of Police Nilesh Jajadia said, “We are analysing footage from a CCTV camera installed in a building opposite Shreeraj Complex. In the footage, three suspects are seen on a motorbike. But their faces are not clear. We are checking other CCTVs. Nobody has been detained or arrested.”
Dave’s family members alleged that Dr Bhavesh Sureja, a Junagadh-based doctor, who is the son of former minister and BJP leader Ratilal Sureja, was behind the murder. The police said there was no evidence indicating Dr Sureja’s involvement in the case. “Dr Sureja filed a case against Dave in 2015 after the latter wrote remarks against him on Facebook. Subsequently, a witness in that case also filed a case against Dave, stating the journalist threatened him. Dave and Dr Sureja were apparently not on good terms and the family believes that Dr Sureja is involved in the murder. They’re claiming that the journalist had written to police saying he faced threats from the doctor. We’re searching for such a letter,” Junagadh Deputy Inspector General of Police Brajeshkumar Jha said. Based on Dr Sureja’s complaint, Dave had been arrested for the alleged cyber crime. He got bail later.
A native of Keshod town in Junagadh district, Dave had moved to Junagadh city around a decade ago. His younger brother Prakash is also a journalist and lives in Keshod. Dave’s funeral took place Tuesday afternoon and local journalists joined the procession. “Soon after the incident we sealed the crime spot. After the funeral, we will open the seal and look for evidence,” inspector Makwana, who is investigating the case, said. Neither Dr Sureja nor his father could be contacted for comments.