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Bhanushali murder: Chhabil Patel shown as suspect in FIR

Press Trust of India  |  Ahmedabad 

BJP Chhabil Patel and five others, including his son and a woman, have been shown as suspects in an FIR lodged by Wednesday in the murder former BJP MLA

Bhanushali was shot dead on a moving train Tuesday.

The police, however, said that none of them has been shown as "accused" yet, and no one has been arrested so far.

The first information report (FIR) was registered Wednesday at the Gandhidham station in district against unidentified persons.

The FIR is based on the complaint given by his nephew Sunil Bhanushali, who accused the slain leader's political rival of orchestrating the murder.

Police sub-inspector C S said the FIR named six persons including as "suspects".

Other suspects were Patel's son Siddharth Patel, Manisha Goswami, Jayanti Thakkar, and Surjit Bhau, he said.

"These six persons have been shown only as suspects, not as accused. The FIR was lodged on the complaint given by Sunil Bhanushali," said

Bhanushali represented constituency in from 2007 to 2012. Chhabil Patel, a candidate then, defeated him in the 2012 Assembly election.

Within two years, Patel switched sides and joined the BJP but lost the resultant by-poll for the seat in 2014.

In 2017, the party chose Patel over Bhanushali for Abdasa seat, but he lost to a candidate.

alleged in the complaint that Patel held his uncle responsible for his defeat in 2014 and 2017 and held a grudge against him.

He also alleged that to end Jayanti Bhanushali's political career, and others made a CD which showed his uncle in a compromising position with a woman.

When Bhanushali refused to retire from political life as allegedly demanded by Patel, the latter hatched the murder conspiracy, the complaint said.

Meanwhile, for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja said a seven-member SIT is probing the case on "war footing" and has roped in fingerprint experts and forensic as well as ballistic experts to aid detection.

"The government has taken this incident very seriously. Notwithstanding the party association, we will take action against anyone found guilty of the crime," Jadeja said.

Bhanushali (53) was shot by unidentified assailants on when returning to Ahmedabad from Bhuj.

The CID-Crime and Railways have formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the murder.

of Police (CID) said a Travelling Ticket Examiner(TTE) and an attendant told the SIT that they heard gun shots, but no one in the compartment saw the assailants.

"As the train was moving, the TTE and attendant thought it might be the sound of a broken window. They also suspected that someone ran outside the compartment when the train came to a brief halt during midnight after a chain pulling," said Bhatia.

The SIT will speak to other railway staff and passengers in coming days, he said.

had stepped down as BJP last year after a woman accused him of rape. The had quashed the case after she withdrew the complaint.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 09 2019. 20:45 IST