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Shirish Bangali was also an RTI activist, his father teacher of one of the accused

Bangali’s brother-in-law, Prakash Modi, told The Sunday Express, “We know the accused arrested by police and Shirishbhai knew Yunus personally."

Written by Kamaal Saiyed | Bharuch | Published: November 15, 2015 1:30:08 am

Shirish Bangali, 60, was not only the editor of local daily Bharuch Milan, he was also an RTI activist. His family was known to some of the accused booked by the Anti-Terrorist Squad for his murder and that of his colleague Pragnesh Mistry (32). Bangali’s father, late Chandrakant Bangali, was a teacher and one of the accused, Yunus Shaikh alias Manjra, was his student at Pioneer school in Bharuch. Bangali, an RSS member, was general secretary of the VHP in Bharuch till 1996 and then joined the BJP to become the president of the Bharuch district BJP from 2008 to 2012. Bangali was also appointed the chairman of Gujarat Narmada Fertiliser Company (GNFC) in Bharuch when he was president of Bharuch district BJP.

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Bangali’s brother-in-law, Prakash Modi, told The Sunday Express, “We know the accused arrested by police and Shirishbhai knew Yunus personally. We met Bharuch SP Shobha Bhutda today and requested her to carry out free and fair investigations. We want that the investigations should be carried out thoroughly and the mysterious person behind this entire episode should be announced by the police. We have got police assurance and hope that we will get justice in the coming days.”

Bhutda said, “Shirishbhai has been known as a humble person in the district. We have got some interesting information from Bangali’s mobile phone and we are analysing it. We are also checking all the RTI applications he had done and his financial transactions to get clues and unclear the mystery.”

Sources said on conditions of anonymity that Bangali, after his tenure as the district president, had demanded a ticket from the party high command in the district panchayat elections and assembly elections, but his request was not entertained. Bharuch district VHP general secretary Viral Desai claimed proximity to Bangali and said, “He had not made any inciting statements against Muslims or favoured Hindus. He was running Bharuch Milan, a weekly newspaper. In his paper, we have not found any article against Muslims. I have made inciting statements in the public meetings and have received threat call thrice, once from South Africa last year after Navratri. I have lodged a complaint with Bharuch police, but till now no development has taken place in the case. Through my political connections, I have come to know that I am also on the list of the targets of this group. I have not demanded any police protection. We suspect that the murder might have been done by some big shot politician. Let us see what Bharuch police do.” Kiran Thakor, Bharuch district Congress president, said, “The investigations should be handed over to the CBI as the family members of the deceased BJP leaders are not satisfied with Gujarat police investigations.”

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