Poll day firing: Shehra BJP MLA held for murder bid

Jetha Bharwad
Jetha Bharwad, BJP MLA from Shehra in the Panchmahals district, was arrested on Friday after a Godhra court rejected his anticipatory bail plea in connection with a firing incident early this month in which four persons were injured.

Bharwad had allegedly fired eight rounds from the machine gun of his bodyguard near a poll booth at Tarsang village in his constituency on December 17.

District Judge D T Soni rejected his plea relying mainly on prima facie evidence and the fact that three of the four injured persons were still recovering from head, neck and thigh injuries in different hospitals in Godhra and Vadodara, prosecutor A A Hasan said.

"The court noted that three of the four injured were still in critical condition," said Hasan, adding that while rejecting the anticipatory bail plea, the judge noted that none of the four injured belonged to any political party.

Godhra SP Sachin Badshah said Bharwad was arrested on charges of attempt to murder and possession of arms soon after the court rejected his anticipatory bail plea. "We arrested him around 2 pm as soon as he came out of the court

Poll day firing: Shehra BJP MLA held for murder bid

premises. He will be produced before the court within 24 hours for further proceedings," Badshah said.

Bharwad had first appeared for hearing on December 24 with a large group of supporters. The court had deferred the hearing to December 26, and then to December 28. "The court expressed deep anguish at the way the complainant (Bharwad) came to the court for hearing on December 24 with supporters shouting slogan in the court premises," Hasan said.

The MLA had resorted to the alleged firing after the mob allegedly attacked him on the spot. Bharwad, who had sustained head injury, was detained by the police after an FIR was filed against him and nine others in this connection. He later escaped from a private hospital in Ahmedabad where he was referred for treatment on December 18 under police detention and filed for anticipatory bail plea.

Bharwad's lawyer argued that the FIR filed against him was wrong because it was his security guard who had fired from his machine gun and not the MLA.

After his escape from the hospital, eight police personnel, including an inspector, were suspended for dereliction of duty.

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