A 45-year-old man was shot dead over dispute related to sand mining late on Tuesday night.
According to complainant, Zabeer Rathwa, villagers of Motikanas village and Khadakwada village close to Madhya Pradesh-Gujarat border in Chhota Udepur have been at loggerheads with each other regarding the limits of the river bed of Orsnag river, cutting through both the villages.
On Tuesday evening, an altercation took place between the two groups following which they had come to a consensus that they will adequately measure and divide the riverbed area.
However, Zabeer, a resident of Motikanas, heard sounds of machines from the river bed late night. Zabeer’s brother, Raising, and a few others from the village then headed towards the river bed. A few minutes later, Zabeer heard gunshots. When he and the other villagers rushed to the spot, they saw Raising lying in a pool of blood with a gun wound in his chest, police said.
According to the police, the villagers saw the accused Guman Rathwa, a resident of Khadakwada village, allegedly standing close to Raising with a gun in his hand. Raising was then rushed to the hospital but he succumbed on the way, police said.
According to police, Guman even threatened other villagers who had rushed to the spot. In the brawl that had ensued, Guman and his father, Richdia Rathwa, who is a co-accused in the case, also received severe injuries. They both have been admitted to a hospital.
The gun used in the crime is a licensed gun and belonged to Guman’s father, police said.
Guman and his father have been booked under IPC sections 302 (Punishment for murder), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (2) (Punishment for criminal intimidation) and 114 (Abettor present when offence is committed), and under relevant sections of the Arms Act.
“We are looking into the sand mafia angle in the story and have begun our investigations. The arrests will also be made once the two injured are discharged,” said Investigating Officer H P Gamit.