A man was found dead in former MLA Mahipatsinh Jadeja’s bungalow in Ribda village of Gondal taluka of Rajkot district on Monday. He committed suicide by shooting himself with a pistol belonging to Jadeja, police said. Gautam Upadhyay, a resident of Gondal town, was found dead in Jadeja’s bungalow in Ribda village by one of his servants at around 11 am on Monday, Gondal taluka police said, adding that Upadhyay shot himself in head from a pistol which belonged to the former MLA.
Antrip Sood, Superintendent of Rajkot Rural police, said that prima facie, Upadhyay committed suicide. When asked if the use of weapon belonging to Jadeja constituted an offence, Sood told The Indian Express: “That we will have to examine. But prima facie, we are treating the incident as a case of suicide.”
Upadhyay was secretary of Ribda Khedut Seva Sahkari Mandali, a cooperative society of farmers of Ribda village. The office of the cooperative society is adjacent to Jadeja’s bungalow and police said that the victim was close to the former MLA.
“Jadeja is a member of the cooperative society and the secretary knew the former MLA well. He often used to visit the bungalow. Primary inquiry has revealed that Jadeja left for his agricultural farm at around 8 am. However, a servant, who works for the cooperative society and also at Jadeja’s bungalow, found Upadhyay dead. He apparently shot himself in the temple with a pistol belonging to Jadeja,” Gondal taluka sub-inspector Jaysukh Mithapara said.
The PSI said that the former MLA had left his licensed weapon back in his bungalow when he left for his farm. “Jadeja alone uses this bungalow,” Mithapara said, adding that the rest of the family members of the former MLA lives in a different house. Mithapara said that police had not recovered any suicide note and the reasons for his extreme step was a matter of investigation.
Mahitapsinh was elected MLA from Gondal Assembly seat as an Independent in 1990 and was re-elected in 1995. However, he was defeated by Jairajsinh Jadeja of the BJP in 1998 election, which triggered the rivalry between them. However, Jairajsinh was convicted by the Gujarat High Court last year while he was sitting MLA for the murder of BJP worker Nilesh Raiyani in 2004.