INDIA: Anand scribe among two more arrested

Editor of 'Sardar Gurjari' newspaper charged with financing murder of Charotar Education Society chairman

The Times of India
Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Vadodara --- A trustee of Charotar Education Society (CES) and editor of local daily 'Sardar Gurjari' in Anand Malav Patel has been arrested by Anand police in connection with the Alpesh Patel alias Chacko murder case.

Malav is the third prominent accused to be arrested in connection to the sensational murder case of Anand municipality's former BJP councilor and CES chairman Chacko who was shot dead by unidentified assailants on May 2. Last week, Anand police had arrested two of Vadodara's notorious criminal, Kalpesh Kachhia and Vinod Sindhi.

Apart from Malav, Anand police has also arrested Jayraj Raj, a bootlegger from Adas village on Sunday night in the same case even as more arrests are on the cards.

"Both Malav and Jayraj were part of the criminal conspiracy to murder Chacko," said Anand town police inspector DS Vaghela, adding that while Sindhi, who hails from Vadodara was present in Anand when Chacko was shot dead, both Kachhia and Malav had allegedly provided him the logistic support. A local court in Anand granted two days of police remand of both Kachhia and Malav on Monday.

Malav has been booked under sections 302 and 307 of Indian Penal Code. "Malav's role was that of financing the crime. Apart from running the local daily, he is also trustee of CES which runs several educational institutes in Anand region. Both Malav and Chacko had disputes for control over cash-rich CES. Our investigations have so far revealed that Jayraj and Sindhi had approached Malav to get logistical support while they had arranged for professional sharp shooters," Anand district superintendent of police AK Jadeja told TOI.

While the police arrested four accused in the case, it is not ruling out involvement of another notorious criminal Mukesh Harjani, who they say is the chief conspirator. Police sources told TOI, Harjani had attended a meeting in Anand where the accused had hatched conspiracy to murder Chacko.

"While Malav allegedly wanted to do away with Chacko because of the latter's dispute at CES, motive of Harjani and Jayraj was to spread their illegally bootlegging network and land deals," said a top police official.

Anand police is now making efforts to arrest sharpshooters who were allegedly hired by the accused apart from Harjani, who is absconding since quite some time. "We are carrying out further investigations in the case," said Jadeja.