NINE DAYS after a group of probationary officers of Indian Forest Service (IFS) were assaulted, prime accused and former Gondal MLA Mahipatsinh Jadeja was arrested on Monday. Acting on a tip off, a team of police raided Jadeja’s residence at Ribda village of Gondal taluka in Rajkot district and arrested him. “We arrested him from his home at 10.40 am and further investigation is on,” Assistant Superintendent of Police (Rajkot Rural) Amit Vasava told The Indian Express.
Vasava is the investigating officer of the case. This is third arrest in the case. Police had arrested Aravind Rajani, Jadeja’s driver a day after four IFS probationers were allegedly assaulted at a petrol pump at Ribda village on March 24. A minor boy was also detained subsequently, and was sent to observation home for boys in Rajkot.
The group of 47 probationers and their course director were on their way to Ahmedabad from Sasan in Junagadh district when they had halted at a petrol pump for refuelling. Jadeja and the juvenile had allegedly chased and beaten up Vipin Kuswaha, one of the IFS probationers who had got down from the bus and was smoking at a little distance from the petrol pump. When fellow probationers rushed to see what had happened, Rajani, who came driving a car tried to run over them. Three other probationers had sustained injuries after being hit by the car.
Based on a complaint filed by Kuswaha, Gondal taluka police booked unidentified men on charges of attempt to commit homicide, not amounting to murder, criminal intimidation etc. Based on the CCTV footage of the alleged incident, police identified Jadeja as the man who attacked Kuswaha with the help of the juvenile. However, the 72-year-old politician, who had been elected MLA from Gondal in 1990 and 1995 as an Independent,had gone underground after the incident. He had even moved a court in Gondal seeking anticipatory bail in the case. However, police arrested Jadeja while his plea for anticipatory bail is still pending.