From chasing down a rape and murder accused in Bihar to detecting seven murders by a gang, five officers of Gujarat Police are among the 121 from across India who were awarded with Union Home Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Investigation 2020 on Wednesday.
As per a list released by the Ministry of Home Affairs on August 12, Piyush Pirojiya, deputy superintendent of police (DYSP), Western Railways in Rajkot, Abhijeetsinh Parmar, assistant commissioner of police (ACP) in Surat, Rajabhai Karamata, sub-inspector (SI) with Special Operations Group (SOG) in Amreli, Balvantsinh Baria, assistant sub-inspector (ASI) with Surat city police, and Pinalbhai Chaudhary, head constable (HC) with Surat city police, won the medal this year.
The officers were rewarded for their meticulous investigation, use of forensic science in evidence build up and swift filing of chargesheet in different crime cases of Surat, Kutch and Amreli in 2018 and 2019.
Abhijeetsinh Parmar, the then ACP of B division in Surat city, and his team of ASI Balvantsinh Baria and head constable Pinalbhai Chaudhari were awarded for their investigation and filing of chargesheet in 21 days in the 2018 case of rape and murder of a three-and-a-half-year-old girl where the accused was chased down in Bihar by Parmar’s team. After the chargesheet was filed, a special Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) court benched by judge PS Kala awarded death penalty to the accused on July 30, 2019.
Speaking to The Indian Express, 42-year-old Parmar said, “It was my first day of taking charge of B Division as ACP when the case came to us. It was an extremely sensitive case as there was public pressure demanding swift action. Our team tracked down the accused in Bihar… with the help of FSL, we made a strong chargsheet in 21 days, which resulted in the accused getting death penalty.”
Piyush Pirojiya, DySP with Rajkot division of Western Railways, was awarded for his work as investigating officer in the murder case of former Bharatiya Janata Party MLA, Jayantibhai Bhanushali.
Bhanushali, a former BJP MLA from Abdasa Assembly constituency in Kutch district, was shot dead on board Sayaji Nagari Express near Samakhiyali in Kutch while he was on his way back home to Ahmedabad after visiting Kutch on January 8 in 2019. A special investigative team (SIT) under the leadership of senior officers of Gujarat Railway Police was formed to probe the case and the investigating officer was Pirojiya. The SIT filed a chargesheet against six persons, including former MLA Chhabil Patel on April 20, 2019. Nine arrests have been made. The case is currently sub-judice and all accused are in Kutch jail.
Speaking to The Indian Express, 45-year-old Pirojiya who joined police in 2001, said, “Under the leadership of senior officers of GRP, I was given an opportunity to probe the murder, and build a strong case. We filed the chargesheet using scientific evidence such as CCTV, mobile data and statements of witnesses.”
Sub-inspector Rajabhai Karamata of Amreli Police Special Operations Group (SOG) was awarded for his investigation into seven murders allegedly committed by a gang in Amreli, Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar and Surendranagar since 2017. Karamata was tasked with the investigation into the murder of a senior citizen couple in Dared village under Babara Taluka of Amreli on June 9, 2019. The team arrested nine members of the gang and brought to light five more murders allegedly committed by them.
“The gang was infamous for attacking senior citizens at deserted places in rural areas in a bid to loot them. They committed seven murders in the three years,” said 31-year-old Karamata.
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