In a breakthrough in the murder probe of a Jamnagar-based lawyer, the Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) on Monday said that it has arrested two persons from Mumbai who had allegedly planned the murder of Kirit Joshi for a sum of Rs 50 lakh from the main accused, Jayesh Ranpariya alias Jayesh Patel. Jayesh is, however, still absconding. The DCB also said that Jayesh’s old dispute with the lawyer was the reason behind the contract killing.
Kirit Joshi was stabbed to death by two unidentified men in Jamnagar city on April 28. The incident had triggered protests by lawyers in the state. Last week, Director General of Police Shivanand Jha handed over the probe to the DCB only to take it back hours later. The DCB was then asked to assist Jamnagar Superintendent of Police in the murder probe.
On Sunday night, a team of DCB officials picked up two persons, identified as Simond Lewis Devinathan and Ajay Mohan Mehta, from Mumbai. Police said that main accused Jayesh Patel allegedly gave the contract to kill Joshi to Simond through his brother, Alfred, who worked as a driver for Patel.
“Alfred got Jayesh Patel in touch with his relative Simond, who is said to be in catering business, to eliminate Kirit Joshi due to personal enmity. Simon got five more men to Jamnagar on April 24, four days before the murder, but later asked three to leave. The murder was executed by the two men who we are trying to trace,” said Deepan Bhadran, Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCB.
According to the police, the sketch of the suspect that they had released three days ago and announced a Rs 50,000-award for information on him, does not match with any of the accused. “It was a revenge killing for which Rs 50 lakh was to be paid. So far, we have come to know that Rs 2.50 lakh was paid as advance,” Bhadran added.
Police said that Kirit Joshi and Jayesh Patel had a history of disputes between them.
Kirit Joshi was stabbed to death outside his office at Jyot Tower near Town Hall in Jamnagar on April 28. The advocate, who was known for handling high-profile criminal cases, had stepped out of his office after the day’s work and was about to get into his car when two bike-borne men attacked him with knives around 8.30 pm.
In his complaint, Kirit Joshi’s brother Ashok had named Jayesh Patel behind the murder. He had said that his brother was representing a builder who had filed a case against Jayesh Patel accusing him of usurping a plot worth Rs 100 crore at Eva Park of Jamnagar in 2016.
He further stated that Jayesh Patel had to spend a long time in jail as Joshi, appearing on behalf of the complainant, had ensured that he did not get anticipatory or regular bail from Jamnagar sessions court, Gujarat High Court and even the Supreme Court. Due to this, Ashok said, Jayesh Patel got his advocate brother killed.
Till late 2015, Jayesh Patel was considered to be a key man of Raghavji Patel, who was then Congress MLA from Dhrol. Jayesh was also associated with Patidar quota stir while being Jamnagar city unit chief of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Party (SVPP), an Ahmedabad-based outfit. Months later, Amrish Mehta, son of builder V P Mehta filed a case against Jayesh Patel and 12 others for allegedly forging documents to usurp the Eva Park land. Subsequently, Jayesh was booked in a number of other criminal cases. Jayesh had filed a complaint in last September, claiming he was shot at in Jamnagar.