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 police team conducted a search at Jadeja’s residence at Ribda village 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 on March 24. A minor boy was also detained subsequently, and was sent to an 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 halted at a petrol pump. 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, police identified Jadeja as the man who attacked Kuswaha with the help of the juvenile.
Jadeja, who had been elected MLA from Gondal in 1990 and 1995 as an Independent, went underground after the incident. He even moved a court in Gondal seeking anticipatory bail in the case.