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Bhanushali murder: Guj CID probing if suspect BJP MLA is in US

Press Trust of India  |  Ahmedabad 

The CID is trying to trace the whereabouts of Chhabil Patel, a suspect in the killing of former party MLA Jayanti Bhanushali, after Patel's family claimed that he was in the US, officials said Thursday.

The (CID) has also sought information from authorities about all those who flew out of the country from here during the period when Bhanushali was killed, they said.

Bhanushali, 53, was shot dead in a moving train on Tuesday when was returning to Ahmedabad from Bhuj town of district in

The first information report (FIR) registered on Wednesday at the Gandhidham railway police station in named Patel, his son, and four others, including a woman, as "suspects".

While Chhabil Patel's son had earlier told mediapersons that his father was in the US for some business-related work, the CID-Crime and Railways, which is probing the killing, was yet to verify the claim.

"We cannot believe someone's claim blindly. People can claim anything. We are still probing this aspect," of Police (CID) Bhavna Patel said.

She is part of a seven-member special investigation team (SIT) of the CID probing Bhanushali's killing.

of Police (CID) J P Raol, who is also part of the SIT, said the authorities have been asked to provide data about air travellers during the period of the killing.

"It is still a matter of investigation as to where is. We have sought some information from the authorities to find out if he has fled to another country," Raol said.

Bhanushali had stepped down as vice president in July last year after a woman accused him of rape. The had later quashed the case after she withdrew the complaint.

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

Within two years, Patel switched sides and joined the BJP but lost the bypoll for the seat in 2014.

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

Jayanti Bhanushali's nephew had alleged in the police 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.

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

First Published: Thu, January 10 2019. 12:56 IST