Three hurt as BJP MLA’s guard opens fire, leader detained

Jetha Bharvad

Eight rounds fired from machine gun near a poll booth in Panchmahals, minor among injured.

Shehra BJP MLA Jetha Bharvad was detained by the Godhra police on Tuesday after his security guard allegedly opened fire at locals from his machine gun near a polling booth in Tarsang village, injuring three persons including a minor.

The police said eight rounds were fired following a scuffle with locals, which largely consisted of Congress workers. Bharvad, who is seeking a re-election, also sustained head injuries after locals allegedly pelted stones at his vehicle.

"Three persons sustained bullet injuries after eight rounds were fired by either Jetha Bharwad or his security guard, which we are yet to confirm. The firing took place after BJP workers clashed with locals at Tarsang," said Godhra SP Sachin Badshah.

In a press release later in the day, the DGP office said Bharwad was first attacked by the villagers who got into an argument with him. When the mob pelted stones at his car, his security guard opened fire at the crowd.

The injured were identified as Bhupatsinh Solanki (49), Dharmendra Rathod (21) and Dharmendra Solanki (17). They were admitted to the Godhra civil hospital. According to hospital sources, 12 mm bullets were removed from the thigh of Bhupatsinh while Dharmendra received injuries on the head and neck.

Later, one of them was shifted to the Vadodara civil hospital. They are said to be out of danger. The police said Bharwad was admitted to a private hospital in the village.

The polling was not affected due to the incident, Panchmahals District Election Officer Manisha Chandra said.

Tarsang is said to be the stronghold of Congress candidate Takhatsinh Solanki, where Bharvad met with resistance, resulting in scuffle.

Both the sides have registered FIRs against each other at the Shehra police station. Bharwad filed a complaint against Dilipsinh Harisinh and 32 others under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for attempts to murder, causing injuries and rioting, among others. One Mahendrasinh Sardarsinh filed an FIR against Bharwad.

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