Vice president of BJP-ruled Jasdan Municipality in Rajkot district Ghanshyam Khachar and his brother were arrested by police on Sunday in connection with the alleged murder of a BJP councillor of the same civic body early last week.
Ghanshyam Khachar alias District, his brother Ranjit and one Vinu Khachar, all residents of Jasdan town, were formally arrested by Jasdan city police at 11:30 am on Sunday. The trio were detained from a farmhouse in Valsad district in south Gujarat in a joint operation conducted by the local Crime Branch of Rajkot Rural police and Valsad district police on Saturday. They were brought to Jasdan on Sunday and were arrested for the murder of Vipul Hirapara alias Lamp, BJP councillor from Ward Number 1 of Jasdan Municipality.
With this, the number of arrests in the murder case has gone up to five. Jasdan city police had arrested Ashok Dhadhal alias Bhadu and Devendra Dhadhal alias Agu on Thursday and the duo are in police custody presently.
“During primary interrogation, Ghanshyam has admitted that he plotted murder of Hirapara on Wednesday. The duo have disputes dating back to three years and the vice president called up the councillor on Wednesday evening as they had not talked for a long time. Ghanshyam says Hirapara abused him in the telephonic conversation and asked not to call him ever again. This infuriated the vice president and he murdered Hirapara with the help of his brothers and friends,” Naran Chavda, police inspector of Jasdan city who is investigating officer (IO) of the case, said on Sunday.
Police said Ghanshyam’s brothers Ranjit and Dipak were part of the eight-men group led by the vice president that attacked the councillor on Wednesday evening. The incident had taken place when Hirapara was attending a meeting of his community on Chitaliya road. They had attacked the councillor and his father with swords and knives before Dipak shot Hirapara dead by firing from a country-made pistol.
Police said Ghanshyam, Ranjit and Vinu had been hiding in the Valsad farmhouse belonging to their community members since committing the crime. The IO added that Ghanshyam was a property dealer by profession.
“We shall produce the trio in local court on Monday and seek their police remand. We are also looking for the remaining three accused, including Dipak, and their arrest will come about soon,” Chavda further added.
On the basis of a complaint lodged by Hirapara’s father Veljibhai, Jasdan police have booked Ghanshyam and seven others for murder.