Gujarat Global News Network, Ahmedabad
In a major blow to the BJP, the Gujarat High Court today sentenced to life imprisonment to Jayrajsinh Jadeja BJP MLA from Gondal in a case of murder of Nilesh Raiyani in Rajkot 2004. This is likely to invite disqualification of Jadeja to contest election unless he gets some major relief from Supreme Court.
A bench of justices Akil Kureshi and BN Biren Vaishnav reversed the judgment of Rajkot Sessions Court which had acquitted MLA and others in 2010 and handed life term to Jadeja and his two aides Amarjitsinh Anirudhh Jadeja and Mahendrasinh Alias Bhagat Rana.
The court has asked the MLA and two others to surrender to police before September 30. Legal experts say, Jadeja would be subject to disqualification as MLA in wake of stringent punishment unless he gets relief from the Apex court.
According to the prosecution, Taiyari and Jadeja were political rivals and were locked in a dispute over the 35-acre estate of the erstwhile royal family of Gondal in Rajkot district. On February 8,2004 , Raiyani and his two aides were travelling in his SUV when Jadeja and the other accused struck the car with their Bolero. Jadeja allegedly came out of his car and fired two shots at Raiyani. Later, the other accused assaulted him with sharp weapons resulting in Raiyani’s death.
The murder of Raiyani was part of spree of murders over the land. Rajkot district Yuva Morcha president Vinu Singhala was also murdered but Jadeja was acquitted in that case. In 2010, Jadeja, along with 13 others, were acquitted by a fast-track court in Rajkot. However, one of the accused, Samir Siraj, was sentenced to life imprisonment. The BJP legislator’s acquittal was challenged in the Gujarat High Court.
Two months before the real estate agent was shot dead by Jadeja, he was accused of the murder of a close aide of the BJP leader. The aide was killed after a dispute over rights of a property of the erstwhile Gondal princely state. Two months after this, the real estate agent was shot dead.
Reacting to this, Gujarat Congress President Bharat Solanki said that this once again proved that BJP has in its lot leaders with criminal background. He said its minister Babu Bokaria and Koli leader Purshottam Solanki were among them.
(For news in Hindi see our Hindi daily Chaupal Chronicle)