A Congress corporator is among the accused in the murder of a 23-year-old man from Bihar who was allegedly attacked by a group of people at a residential area in Bhestan area, mistaking him for a thief, late night on Saturday. According to police, Sangam Jha, a resident of Sachin area, was on his way home from Pandesara on a motorbike, along with his friend Sujith Singh (30) on pillion, when they lost their way and entered a residential area in Bhestan area.
Seeing their suspicious movement, residents raised an alarm thinking the two were thieves. A group of residents who gathered on the spot began beating them up with sticks and iron rods. Jha died on the spot while Singh sustained injuries and is in SMIMER (Surat Municipal Institution of Medical Education and Research) hospital. The complainant in the case, Singh has named Satish Patel, Congress corporator from the Vadod Jiyav ward in Bhestan as one of the accused.
As per the FIR registered by Singh (30), a native of Balia district in Uttar Pradesh and a resident of Gujarat Housing Board in Sachin, “Singh alongwith his friend Sangam Jha (23), also from same area, were on their way from Pandesara to their home, after meeting their friend Suraj Singh. The duo missed the road, entered Bhairavnagar Society in Bhestan, and went round and round trying to find the way out.”
The FIR adds, “Some youths of the residential society questioned them and raised an alarm calling them thieves… They also called out the names of Prateek, Mehul, Raju, Satish, Vishal and Pinak, and attacked the complainant and his friend with wooden sticks and iron rods on their head and legs, injuring them severely. Sangam suffered severe head injuries and died on the spot.” The incident happened around 12.30, Saturday night.
Later, Singh managed to call the police and sub-inspector KD Patel from Pandesara police station reached the spot and took both of them to SMIMER hospital, where Jha was declared dead on arrival and Singh’s condition is critical.
Singh has named Congress corporator of Vadod Jiyav ward in Surat, Satish Patel, along with Prateek Patel, Mehul Raju, Vishal, Pinak and a few others as accused. They have been booked Indian Penal Code sections for murder, rioting and grievous hurt (sections143, 144, 147, 148, 149, 307, 323, 324 and 325). Prateek has been detained for questioning.
Assistant Commissioner of police F Division JK Pandya said, “We have registered offence against the accused, including Congress corporator Satish Patel, and started probe. We have some doubts but investigations are on.”
Jha alias Pandit hails from Sheohar district in Bihar and lived in Kandivali, Mumbai, with his father Arun Jha, mother Kamini Devi and siblings who are 14 and 17 years old. His father works in a unit manufacturing sliding windows and doors. They received Sangam’s body on Monday.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Arun said, “Sangam left home two years ago and came to Surat to stay with his uncle Prabhat Jha who works in a diamond firm. He stayed with them for three months and left without saying anything. We have not received a single call from Sangam for the past one-and-half years. We were worried about him but didn’t have his phone number or address.”
He said, “We toiled hard to give our children good education. Sangam was not interested in education, I got him admitted in a college in Mumbai, but he quit studies.”
While Satish Patel was unavailable, another Congress corporator Bhadreshsinh Parmar from the same ward told this paper, that the incident might have something to do with Pradeep Singh Rajput, who contested against Satish and lost the municipal elections.
Parmar said, “Satish Patel defeated Rajput, who was BJP candidate, in last two municipal elections. The survivor in the incident, Sujit Singh, is close aide of Rajput, who deals with property related work and financing. We are cooperating with police in the investigations.”
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