June 4, 2021 2:49:03 am
AROUND THIRTY hours after former Junagadh mayor Lakhabhai Parmar’s son Dharmendra alias Dharmesh was allegedly stabbed to death, the deceased’s brother lodged a complaint against 16 people, including a sitting BJP corporator, her husband, a local BJP leader and four unidentified persons. The family also claimed his body after police recorded the complaint.
Dharmendra, 49, was allegedly stabbed to death by four men near Ram Nivas Society, around 500 metres away from his residence in Ambedkarnagar area on Bilkha Road of Junagadh city late on Wednesday morning. His brother Ravan rushed him to the government hospital in Junagadh even as the accused managed to flee the spot. Dharmendra was declared brought dead by doctors at the hospital.
The family refused to claim Dharmendra’s body until late Thursday evening, alleging police were not registering their complaint with details they wanted it to contain. Eventually, they claimed the body at around 8 pm on Thursday after police recorded complaint of Ravan.
In his complaint, Ravan stated that Ashok Parmar, his maternal aunt Geeta Chau, Vicky alias Sagar Suresh Solanki, Kamlesh Suresh Solanki alias Machchhar and four other men attacked Dharmendra with sharp-edged weapons and hacked him to death. He stated that when he was out for some work, he himself saw these accused attacking Dharmendra near Judge Colony.
Ravan further stated that the murder could be a fall out of applications Dharmendra and he (Ravan) had given to police against 11 persons. They include Ashok Bhatt, who lives near Takshshila School; Sanjay Suresh Solanki alias Badiyo and his wife Brijesha, residents of Khadiya area of Junagadh; Sanjay’s father Suresh alias Dula Solanki, Sahil Solanki, Ashok Kalu Sau, Jiva Rajshi Solanki, Haresh Jiva Solanki, Kalu Sajan Ranva, Vaju Mevada and Shailesh Koli alias Muso. Ravan stated that his family was facing threats from these people and therefore they had given applications against them to police.
While Brijesha Solanki is a sitting BJP corporator from Ward No.15 of Junagadh Municipal Corporation (JMC), Ashok Bhatt is vice-president of Junagadh city unit of BJP. Ward No.15 of JMC includes Ambedkarnagar, the residence of the Parmars and pocket borough of the former mayor Lakhabhai, a Congress leader.
Ravan alleged in his complaint that as they (the Parmars) were repeatedly approaching police against them, the 11 co-accused instigated Ashok Parmar, Geeta Chau, Vicky, Machchhar and four unidentified men to murder Dharmendra.
Ravan also alleged that the police were not recording his complaint with details he wanted it to contain, hence the family was forced to not claim body of the victim. “The SP (superintendent of police) told us that only certain people were involved in the murder and that others were not there and therefore they should not be named in the FIR. How can I do that? How can people who are responsible for my brother’s murder be allowed to roam free? They can do to the same to my brother’s children what they have done to my brother. But I had to make some compromises as my brother’s children are young and his body was bloating,” Ravan told The Indian Express.
However, superintendent of police (SP) of Junagadh district, Ravi Teja Vasamsetty rejected Ravan’s claims. “The CCTV footage of the incident shows four assailants but the victim’s family wanted to name people who are not connected with the incident as accused. We told them that naming them can hamper and delay investigation. But they insisted on naming them. So, the complaint names five people as actual accused and around 10 as suspects,” the SP said.
The SP said that prima facie, Badiyo was the mastermind of the murder. “He had disputes with the Parmars dating back around 30 years. On May 10 one Kumar (Rabari), a bootlegger was allegedly assaulted by some men and a case of attempt-to-murder was registered. Dharmendra persuaded Kumar to name Dula as an accused in that case. This prompted Badiyo to stage an attack on Dharmendra,” Vasamsetty said.
Badiyo has a number of criminal cases registered against him, including that of bootlegging. Dharmendra was also facing a few criminal cases, including of rioting, loot etc.
“Badiyo was once Lakhabhai’s man. But then circumstances changed and friends turned foes,” a police source said.
The SP said that at the behest of Badiyo, his younger brother Machchhar called his relatives Ram Vala, Vicky and Lalo Thakor who works for Badiyo and hacked Dharmendra to death.
Incidentally, Rajkot police had nabbed Machchhar, Vala and one Rushiraj Thakar from Gondal Raod on the outskirts of Rajkot city hours after the murder in Junagadh and had recovered a knife from Machchhar. They were later handed over to Junagadh police.
Ashok Bhatt and Brijesha Solanki could not be reached for comment.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.