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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Land mafia, ‘mastermind’ in Gujarat lawyer’s murder case held in London by Interpol

Three accomplices of gangster arrested from Kolkata

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad, Rajkot |
Updated: March 17, 2021 8:14:59 pm
Advocate Kirit Joshi murder case: Jamnagar police arrest three men from KolkataBelieved to be in his early 40s, Ranpariya is wanted in over 40 cases of murders, attempts to murders, kidnappings, extortions, dubious land deals in Jamnagar and its surrounding areas, police said.

Jayesh Ranpariya alias Jayesh Patel, an alleged land mafia wanted in the murder of advocate Kirit Joshi in Jamnagar three years ago among several other cases, has been detained by the Interpol in London after a request from the Gujarat Police even as three of his accomplices were arrested from Kolkata, in West Bengal, police said Wednesday.

Gujarat Director General of Police (DGP), Ashish Bhatia, confirmed to The Indian Express that Jayesh Ranpariya has been detained by Interpol in London.

“The Gujarat Police had issued a Red-Corner notice against Ranpariya, and followed up the case with the Interpol and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in New Delhi. We had received his location to be in London, UK, and had sent the input to the Interpol. As per Indian Standard Time (IST), Ranpariya was detained from a location in London on Tuesday night,” Bhatia said.

The DGP said the government would now initiate the process of seeking his extradition from the UK to India. “He will be produced now in a court of law over there (London). The Interpol had also asked for a provisional arrest form from us, which we have sent already. Now, the extradition process of Ranpariya will start and we are constantly in touch with the Union Home Department and Ministry of External Affairs,” Bhatia added.

Believed to be in his early 40s, Ranpariya is wanted in over 40 cases of murders, attempts to murders, kidnappings, extortions, dubious land deals in Jamnagar and its surrounding areas, police said. His gang, police believe, has more than 100 members and is involved in extorting money from builders and business persons.

Ranpariya had allegedly given a contract to have Jamnagar advocate Kirit Joshi murdered in 2018 after the latter took over a case filed by a builder against the gangster for allegedly usurping land worth Rs 100 crore in Jamnagar.

Joshi, then a leading lawyer of Jamnagar, was allegedly stabbed to death by three men in full public view as soon as he came out of his office at Jyot Tower, opposite Town Hall in Jamnagar, on April 28, 2018, evening.

Meanwhile, Jamnagar district police Wednesday announced that its team has arrested three men from Kolkata in connection with the alleged murder of Joshi. The trio have been identified as Dilip Thakkar, Hardik Thakkar, and Jayant Gadhvi. Deepan Bhadran, Superintendent of Police of Jamnagar district, said the three men were held from Salt Lake area in Kolkata on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday.

“The three men are criminals from Bapunagar area of Ahmedabad. They had stabbed Joshi to death at the behest of Ranpariya in 2018,” Bhadran told The Indian Express.

The SP said a team of Jamnagar police, which had gone to Kolkata to nab the three accused, have got transit remand of the men and was expected to reach Jamnagar late Wednesday. “We shall produce the three accused before a court on Thursday and seek their remand,” he said.

With this, the number of arrests in the Joshi murder case has gone up to nine, with Ranpariya, the alleged mastermind of the crime, also held, police said.

In May 2018, the Detection of Crime Branch of Ahmedabad city police, then headed by Bhadran, had arrested two men — Simond Lewis Devinathan and Ajay Mohan Mehta — from Mumbai claiming they were a part of the conspiracy to murder Joshi. Police said Ranpariya had given Simond a Rs 50-lakh contract through the latter’s brother Alfred to have the advocate murdered. Alfred used to work as Ranpariya’s driver when he was in Mumbai, police said.

“While Devinathan and Mehta and conducted a reccee of the advocate’s movement, the three knifers from Ahmedabad were the ones who actually stabbed Joshi to death,” said Bhadran. Bhadran was transferred from Ahmedabad Crime Branch and appointed as SP of Jamnagar in September last year, with a brief to nab Ranpariya, apart from fixing other policing issues in the district.

Ranpariya was arrested in connection with the Rs 100 crore land grabbing case filed against him and was lodged in jail when Joshi was allegedly murdered. The gangster is believed to have fled the country later.

The Ahmedabad Crime Branch and CID (crime) were assisting Jamnagar police in the murder case investigation. Police have already filed chargesheet against six accused, so far.

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