March 8, 2021 12:42:23 am
Kapil Desai, one of the five police constables wanted in the Mundra custodial deaths case, surrendered before the Kutch (west) Police and a local court sent him to police remand for three days, police said on Sunday.
Kapil Desai, a police constable attached to the Mundra police station and a native of Chandkheda in Ahmedabad, surrendered after being on the run for more than a month. “Desai surrendered before officers of the Local Crime Branch (LCB) in Bhuj and was arrested formally. He was produced in a court in Mundra on Saturday and the court granted us his custody for three days,” Jayesh Panchal, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) of Bhuj division of Kutch (west) Police, told The Indian Express.
Panchal is the investigating officer of the case against three police constables. Arjan Gadhvi and Harjog Gadvhi, both residents of Samaghogha village of Kutch district’s mundra taluka, were allegedly tortured to death by the accused inside Mundra police station in January. While Arjan had died on January 19, Harjog had succumbed to his injuries on February 6 while undergoing treatment in a hospital in Ahmedabad. The third victim, Shamla Gadhvi, however, survived.
With Desai’s arrest, the number of arrests in this case has gone up to seven. Police had earlier arrested then Mundra police inspector JA Padhiyar, home guards Viraj Joshi Shambu Ahir, constable Gafurji Thakor and civilians Narvirsinh Sarvaiya and Jayvirsinh Jadeja.
Jayvirsinh is the former sarpanch of Samaghogha village. The victims’ families allege that the policemen beat Arjan and Harjog to death at the behest of the former sarpanch due to a land dispute. According to an FIR registered at Mundra police station, a few policemen picked up Arjan on January 13 as a suspect in a house break-in incident and later on, Harjog and Shalma on January 16. After Arjan died on January 19, Shaktisinh Gohil, Ashok Kannad and Jaydevsinh Jhala, head constables who were part of the crime detection team of Mundra police station, were booked for murder.
“However, the three accused policemen named in the FIR are still on the run. We have approached court to declare them proclaimed offenders,” Panchal further said.
While Jayvirsinh was arrested from Maharashtra, Narvirsinh was arrested from Rajasthan for allegedly helping the accused.
The DySP added that the land dispute was not the only motive of the murders. “This is a case of custodial deaths, though the former sarpanch had had a vested interest and the crime was committed in the backdrop of the land dispute between the Gadhvis and the Jadeja family,” added the IO.
The remaining six accused are presently in judicial custody.
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