IN a setback to BJP leader Narendra Solanki, the District and Sessions Court of Rajkot rejected his anticipatory bail application on Tuesday. The court order paves way for arrest of the former deputy mayor of Rajkot in a case of an alleged attempt to murder a property dealer.
The court of additional sessions judge GM Damodara trashed Solanki’s plea seeking protection against his impending arrest in connection with alleged attack on property dealer Jagdish Rathod early on March 3. The court appreciated assistant public prosecutor (APP) Rakshit Kalola’s argument that Solanki had a criminal past and that being a politician, who had turned a sanyasi some time back, held considerable clout and therefore could influence witnesses if granted protection against arrest.
“The court has concluded that prima facie there is a case against Solanki and that the applicant had a reason to attack Rathod due to comments posted by the latter on Facebook. The court concurred with our argument that call data records proved Solanki’s involvement in the crime. It also took into account criminal past of the applicant and the possibility of him influencing witnesses if given anticipatory bail,” Kalola told The Indian Express.
Rathod, who is the husband of BJP corporator from Ward number 22 of the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC), Damyanti Rarhod, was attacked by three man on March 3 in his office in the city. Bhaktinagar police had arrested three men in this connection on March 8. The arrested men had told police that they had attacked Rathod at the behest of Solanki.
After his name surfaced in the case, Solanki had resigned as BJP corporator of Ward number 19 of the RMC on March 9. The same day he started fast-unto-death demanding action against Bhaktinagar police inspector, who, Solanki alleged, had demanded Rs10 lakh bribe for not investing his role in the case. But 51-year-old Solanki, who has become head of an ashram near Chotila after turning sanyasi last June, ended his fast the next day telling his spiritual master did not approve of it.
He went underground since and filed for anticipatory bail on March 12.