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BJP MP behind murder, says RTI activist's father

July 21, 2010 16:14 IST

The father of an Information Rights activist Amit Jethwa, who was shot dead by two assailants last night, has alleged that BJP MP from Jundagadh Dinu Solanki could be behind his son's killing.

"I believe that Dinu Solanki is behind the killing of my son. He had many times threatened me also on phone," Bhikabhai Jethwa told mediapersons in Ahmedabad.

"Solanki had threatened my son many times in Khamba and in Kodinar also. He had also threatened him in public in front of a huge crowd," he said.

Amit, who had recently filed a public interest litigation (PIL) against illegal mining in Gir forest region in the high court recently, was shot dead from close range by two unknown motorcycle-borne assailants.

He was shot while he was coming out from the office of his lawyer opposite the Gujarat High Court yesterday night.

Dinu Solanki could not be reached on his mobile phone or the telephones at his residence and office for comments despite repeated efforts.

State BJP spokesperson I K Jadeja also refused to comment on the allegations made by father of the RTI activists, saying it was not a political issue.

"Allegations are often made. Only when they are proved, the party discusses and takes action," he said.

Amit was very active over conservation of wildlife, especially lions in Gir area. He had also filed a writ petition in the high court challenging the Bhuj sessions court order staying inquiry against Bollywood actor Amir Khan in the chinkara poaching
case during shoot if blockbuster film 'Laagan'.

Amit used to train others into getting information using the RTI Act. In recent times, illegal sand mining had become rampant on the periphery of Gir forest.

Amit had recently filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the High Court against illegal mining in the Gir region of Junagadh district which is considered the last abode of Asiatic lions in the world.

He was also founder of Gir Nature Youth Club in Khamba taluka of Amreli district, his hometown. Following Jethwa's PIL the Gujarat High Court had last month directed the state government to appoint a Lokayukta (ombudsman).

In the PIL, he had questioned the state government's "inaction" over appointment of the Lokayukta. It was on his petition that the High Court had directed the state government to fill vacant posts of Information Commissioners in the Gujarat Information Commission.

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