Three days after he went missing, a promoter of well-known publishing house Navneet Publication, Navin Shah, was found dead at Malpur village in Aravalli district on Friday. According to Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB), Shah was abducted on July 25 and within an hour he was murdered by the abductors in a scuffle. So far, two persons, including sacked Navneet employee Jignesh Bhavsar, have been arrested.
Shah was abducted from Vaishno Devi Circle under Adalaj police area of Gandhinagar district, investigators said. The DCB was roped in after Shah’s family filed a missing complaint.
According to DCB officials, the conspiracy to abduct Shah was hatched by Bhavasar, resident of Ghatlodia in Ahmedabad, and one Shailesh Patel from Prantij in Sabarkantha.
Joint commissioner of police J K Bhatt said: “Bhavsar was sacked by Shah around four years ago. While Bhavsar sought revenge, other conspirators wanted to extract money. They had thought to demand Rs 5 crore initially, and settle for Rs 2-3 crore.”
As part of the conspiracy, one Sunil Sharma called Shah over phone on July 24, claiming to have “information about a secret union of workers at his publication and asked him to meet near Vaishno Devi the next day for more information,” a police official said. “The next day, Shah reached there in his car, but was then taken to another vehicle in which some of the accused were already seated.”
Police said that when Shah did not return for two hours, his driver who was waiting at Vaishno Devi Circle, contacted his family who informed the Adalaj police.
According to Bhatt, “Shah sensed that he had been kidnapped and therefore he protested. This led to a scuffle in which the accused strangulated him. His body was thrown in Malpur village in Aravalli district which was recovered on Thursday.”
Bhatt said there are more than 150 workers employed by Shah at his publication and it could be the promised information about a possible union of workers that compelled him to meet his “abductors”.
Besides Bhavsar, DCB arrested one Ramesh Patel, alleged member of Shailesh Patel’s gang for further investigation.