The Bharuch police, probing the double murder of BJP leaders, invoked the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) against the accused persons Monday. They sent their report to the Director General of Police (DGP) praying to hand over the case to the National Investigating Agency (NIA).
The police investigation has revealed that the two leaders were allegedly murdered “to avenge atrocities against Muslims.” The Gujarat police suspect that the murder was an outcome of a “terror module” which may have been used in other parts of the country because of which NIA should probe it further.
“The UAPA has been invited in this special case due to the international linkages emerged in the investigation. And considering the international ramifications and other details of the findings NIA is a specialized agency to probe such cases. We will take a decision after going through the report prepared by the Bharuch police,” DGP P C Thakur told The Indian Express.
On November 2, Shirish Bangali, former Bharuch district BJP president and organisational leader, and Pragnesh Mistry, general secretary of the Bharuch BJP youth wing, were shot dead at the former’s Surya printing press in Panchbatti area of the town by bike-borne masked assailants.
Almost a week later, the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested seven accused and revealed that the murders were the result of contract killing perpetrated allegedly by fugitive gangster Javed Chikna and his younger brother Abid. Born in Mumbai both the brothers originally belong to Kantharia village in Bharuch district. Chikna is wanted in 1993 Mumbai bomb blast case and said to be living in South Africa.
On Monday the local police arrested another accused identified as Altaaf Sheikh, an auto-rickshaw driver, who allegedly did recee of Bangali before his assassination.
According to sources, one more accused has been traced who was yet to be arrested. Bharuch Superintendent of Police Shobha Bhutada confirmed the development but refused to divulge further information.
So far, it has emerged that Yunus Shaikh alias Manjaro, 53, and Inayat Ayubbhai Vora, 35, both residents of Bharuch, and said to be running gambling dens in south Gujarat, were in touch with Chikna and Abid on phone.
According to investigation, the duo “planned to identify Hindu leaders in the district and hatched a conspiracy to kill them by creating a priority list.” Bangali allegedly topped the “priority list.”
According to police, the Hansot riots in January 2014 in the district also said be among the reasons behind targeting Bangali. There were four other leaders belonging to Sangh Parivar who were under target.
“Yunus, about six months ago contacted Jau (brother-in-law of Yunus Shaikh), son of Saeed Munshi , and discussed to take revenge for atrocities against Muslims from 1992 to 2002. Jau lives in South Africa. It was then they decided to target Bangali first.” According to police, about six month ago Abid had come to Bharuch and met Yunus and Inayat and planned the alleged killings. It has been alleged that Abid allegedly obtained the weapons and handled the logistics.”
“We have seized four 9 mm pistols from the accused which were procured for the murders. Although country made the weapons are of the best quality and in good condition,” said a senior IPS officer involved in the investigation on the condition of anonymity.
He said that a motor car and bike used in the killings have also been seized.