August 5, 2021 5:53:06 pm
The blood-soaked bodies of BJP leader Tribhuvan Panchal and his wife Jashoda were found in their residence at Pala village in Lunavada taluka of Mahisagar district Thursday morning. After a preliminary investigation, police suspect the double murder case to be a fallout of personal enmity.
While Panchal’s body was found in the garden of the residence, his wife was found killed inside the house. Police officials of Lunavada said the assailants could have killed Jashoda to eliminate her as an eyewitness.
Police inspector R D Bharwad of Lunavada police station told The Indian Express, “We are yet to ascertain the motive behind the crime but we suspect that the assailants were known to the family. It seems like they intended to only kill Panchal but his wife was a witness to the crime and had identified the assailant, which is why she was killed. We are yet to recover Panchal’s phone, which is missing.”
Bharwad said a robbery angle has been ruled out because the assailants did not steal anything from the house nor did the entry appear forced. “The crime took place at night or in the wee hours. The assailants used a sharp object to hit both the deceased on their heads. There are no other visible injury marks on both the bodies but we are initiating an autopsy for more details on the murders. Prima facie, it appears that the killings could have an angle of personal enmity or involvement of debt or credit,” Bharwad said.
Police suspect Panchal’s phone is with one of the assailants and have begun tracking its location. Panchal and his wife, both in their 70s, were living alone in their village. They have a daughter, who is settled in Canada, and a son, who is a practicing doctor in Anand.
Another son of the couple had succumbed to Covid-19 earlier this year, police said. Local BJP leaders, including MLA Jignesh Sevak of Lunavada, arrived at the spot after the news of the incident spread and asked the police to expedite the investigation.
Multiple police teams have begun searching for the assailants. Panchal was a veteran BJP leader and a member of the executive body of the party in the district. He was also an influential face among his community, locals said.
The Lunavada police station has lodged an FIR under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code for murder.
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