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Gujarat BJP leader booked for abetment to suicide over death of BTP worker

Chhotubhai Vasava, who is contesting the Assembly poll from Jhagadiya, wrote to the Bharuch election officer after the death by suicide of a party worker who was allegedly threatened by BJP leader Prakash Desai.

On Wednesday, Chhotu Vasava (in pic) wrote a letter to the district election commission, asking them to take strict actions against the accused Prakash Desai and others before December 1. (Express Photo by Bhupendra Rana)

Bharuch police Tuesday booked BJP leader and Jhagadiya taluka panchayat vice-president Prakash Desai and four others for abetment to suicide after a Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) worker died by suicide in Jhagadiya.

According to police, Desai had allegedly threatened BTP worker Akash Vasava (23) of framing him in a case following which the youth took the extreme step on November 28 night.

Desai was a BTP member and a close aide of BTP chief and Jhagadiya MLA Chhotu Vasava before joining BJP.

Police said that Akash Vasava, a resident of Raisinghpura village in Jhagadiya taluka, allegedly died by hanging from a tree on the outskirts of his village.

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Before taking the extreme step, Akash told his family members that Desai and three others had threatened him of framing him in a case of attacking a luxury bus and robbery.

On Tuesday afternoon, the family members refused to take body of Akash from Jhagadiya Civil hospital demanding to register case against Desai and others. A large number of villagers of Raisinghpura village including family members of Akash Vasava also reached the Umalla police station with the demand.

On Wednesday, Chhotu Vasava wrote a letter to the district election commission, asking them to take strict actions against the accused Prakash Desai and others before December 1— the day of Phase 1 of polling in Gujarat— as they may influence the voters .

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Based on a complaint filed by Bhulabhai Vasava (76), grandfather of Akash, Umalla police registered an FIR against Desai, Nagin Vasava, Chhana Vasava, Ganesh Vasava and Vasudev Vasava, all residents of Jhagadiya taluka under IPC sections 306 (abetment to suicide) , 506 (2) (criminal intimidation) and 114.

Bharuch District Superintendent of Police Dr. Leena Patil said, “We will first gather evidence into the incident and later probe in that direction. Nobody will be spared and at present, we are investigating the case.”

Desai had threatened to frame Akash in a case over attack on a luxury bus. The bus, carrying around 40 police constables and two police sub inspectors of Odisha who were returning to Surat after visiting Statue of Unity, was attacked on November 26.

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According to police, a quarrel had erupted between bus driver and passengers of twocars on Rajpardi road over overtaking the bus.

Following this, those traveling in the car, who were carrying flags and posters of BTP, damaged the bus, assaulted the driver and robbed cash and three mobile phones worth Rs. 32,500.

Based on a complaint filed by the bus driver Umalla police had registered a case against four BTP workers— one of whom was identified as Akash.

First published on: 30-11-2022 at 18:57 IST
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