BJP MLA escapes, cops suspended

BJP MLA and candidate from Shehra in Panchmahals, Jetha Bharwad, who is facing attempt to murder charge following a firing incident during polls on Monday, escaped from police detention at Apollo Hospital, Gandhinagar, in the wee hours of Tuesday.

The MLA, who was injured in stone-pelting, was brought to the hospital on Monday night.

Eight policemen, including a sub-inspector, who were escorting the MLA, were on Tuesday suspended for dereliction of duty. DGP Chitranjan Singh said Bharwad escaped from police detention while he was undergoing CT scan. He said the doctor of a private hospital in Godhra had referred him here for treatment for head injuries.

Bharwad had suffered injuries during stone-pelting that is said to have led to the firing incident at Tarsang village. Police claim Bharwad's personal guard fired at the mob following an argument.

However, Congress has alleged Bharwad and his men wanted to capture booth and opened fire when they faced with resistance.

Panchmahals Superintendent of Police Sachin Badshah said a cross-complaint had also been filed in the case.

He said Bharwad's gunman Ranjit Baria, who also got injured during the clash, was another suspect in the case and was being interrogated.

Badshah said that after the incident, Bharwad was detained and admitted to a private hospital in Godhra. Late Monday night, the doctor referred him to Apollo Hospital in Gandhinagar from where the MLA escaped.

According to Badshah, Bharwaad was provided with a police escort team since there was apprehension that the MLA could be attacked again.

"We had initially thought the head injury was not very serious and Bharwad would be out of the private hospital after first aid. But the doctors there referred him to Apollo Hospital since they were worried he might have sustained internal injuries," said Godhra DSP V J Jadeja, who is investigating the case.

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