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Ex-BJP MLA's murder: Two main accused arrested in UP

Press Trust of India  |  Ahmedabad 

Almost 11 months after former BJP MLA Jayanti Bhanushali was shot dead in a moving train, two key accused, including a woman, were arrested by the Gujarat CID from Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday, an official said.

With this, the state Crime Investigation Department has arrested 11 accused in the case, Deputy Inspector General of Police, CID (Crime and Railways), Gautam Parmar said.

Acting on a tip-off, the CID team nabbed Manisha Goswami and Surjit Bhau, who were on the run since January, from Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh, he said.

They will be brought here after the police get their transit remand from a local court there, he said.

Till date, the CID has arrested 11 accused in the case, while one Nikhil Thorat is yet to be nabbed, he added.

Bhanushali (53), also former vice president of the state BJP unit, was shot dead in a moving train near Samakhiyali station of Kutch district on January 8.

Earlier, the CID had arrested former BJP leader Chhabil Patel who, according to the probing agency, allegedly played a key role in eliminating his political rival Bhanushali.

Patel and Manisha Goswami allegedly hired sharp shooters to execute the crime with the help the other accused, including Bhau and Thorat.

The CID also arrested Patel's son Siddharth and two sharp-shooters earlier this year.

Both Bhanushali and Patel were earlier MLAs from Abdasa segment in Kutch district.

Bhanushali represented the seat from 2007 to 2012, while Patel, a Congress candidate then, defeated Bhanushali in the 2012 Gujarat Assembly polls.

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

In 2017, the BJP chose Patel over Bhanushali to contest from the Abdasa seat, but the former lost to a Congress candidate.

According to the FIR registered with the CID's Railway police, Patel allegedly held Bhanushali responsible for his defeat in 2014 and 2017 and held a grudge against him, which led to the killing.

Last year, Goswami was arrested for blackmailing the victim's nephew Sunil Bhanushali by making his obscene CD.

The CID earlier claimed Patel helped Goswami to come out on bail and joined hands with her to eliminate Bhanushali.

The slain leader's nephew, who is the complainant in the case, earlier alleged that to end his uncle's political career, Patel, Goswami and the other accused made a CD showing Jayanti Bhanushali in a compromising position with a woman.

When the victim refused to retire from political life as allegedly demanded by Patel, the latter hatched the conspiracy to kill him, the complainant charged.

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

First Published: Tue, November 05 2019. 16:15 IST