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BJP leader, wife ‘killed’ in Mahisagar, police say personal enmity

The bodies of Tribhovan Panchal and his wife Jashoda were found on the premises of their residence in Pala village in Lunavada taluka of Mahisagar district, with the police primarily suspecting personal enmity to be the possible motive behind the crime.

By: Express News Service | Vadodara |
August 6, 2021 1:28:46 am
Police at the crime scene in Mahisagar on Thursday. (Express)

The Mahisagar district police have begun a probe into the alleged double murder of a BJP leader and his wife early on Thursday morning. The bodies of Tribhovan Panchal and his wife Jashoda were found on the premises of their residence in Pala village in Lunavada taluka of Mahisagar district, with the police primarily suspecting personal enmity to be the possible motive behind the crime.

While Panchal’s blood-soaked body was found in the garden of his residence, his wife was found dead inside the house. Police officials of Lunavada police station said that assailants could have killed Jashoda to eliminate an eyewitness.

Police Inspector RD Bharwad of Lunavada police station told this newspaper, “We are yet to ascertain the motive behind the crime, but we suspect that the assailants were known to the family. It seems like they intended to only kill Tribhovan Panchal but his wife could have been witness to the crime and identified the assailant, which is why she was killed. We are yet to recover Tribhovan’s phone, which is missing.”

Bharwad said that robbery has been ruled out as a motive because the assailants did not steal anything from the house nor did the entry appear forced. “The crime has occurred at night or in the wee hours. They have used a sharp object to hit them on their heads. There are no other visible injury marks on both the bodies, but we are initiating an autopsy for more details on both murders. Prima facie, it appears that the killings could have an angle of personal enmity or involvement of debt or credit,” Bharwad said.

The police suspect that Tribhovan’s phone is with one of the assailants and have begun tracking the location of the phone. Tribhovan and his wife, both in their 70s, were living alone in their village. They have a daughter, who is settled in Canada, and a son, who is a practicing doctor in Anand. Another son of the couple had succumbed to Covid-19 earlier this year, police said.
Local BJP leaders, including MLA Jignesh Sevak of Lunavada, arrived at the spot after news of the incident spread and have asked the police to expedite the investigation. Multiple police teams have begun searching for the assailants.

Tribhovan was a veteran BJP leader and a member of the executive body of the party in the district. He was also an influential face among his community, locals said. The Lunavada police station has lodged an FIR under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code for murder.

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