Gujarat: Man whose car was ‘used in crime’ consumes poison after being summoned by police, discharged

Police sources said the car belonging to Vipulsinh, a farmer from Samaghohgha, is still untraceable.

A Samaghogha villager, who had allegedly consumed poison on the day he was summoned by the police in connection with the Mundra custodial deaths case, has been discharged from a local hospital in Mundra Tuesday, police said. His car, police added, was used by one of the accused in the alleged crime and so his questioning was warranted.

Vipulsinh Jadeja (25), a resident of Samaghohgha village of Mundra taluka of Kutch district, was questioned by the Local Crime Branch (LCB) officers of Kutch (west) police Sunday in connection with the death of two men following alleged custodial torture by policemen attached with the Mundra police station. He was again summoned Monday to get his statement recorded.

“On Monday morning, he allegedly consumed poison. In his statement to us, he stated that he attempted to take his own life apprehending that the police will arrest him in the case of the custodial death,” M B Jani, police inspector of Mundra told The Indian Express Wednesday.

Jani said Vipulsinh was admitted to a private hospital in Mundra Monday morning and was discharged Tuesday. But the LCB officials said he was yet to turn up for further questioning.

“Jayvirsinh Jadeja, the former sarpanch of Samaghogha village, had used the car belonging to Vipulsinh at the time of the offence. We had summoned him to question him about this car. We had summoned him again for the same reason, but he did not show up. We later learnt that he had allegedly consumed poison,” LCB police sub-inspector SJ Rana said.

Police sources said the car belonging to Vipulsinh, a farmer from Samaghohgha, is still untraceable. “Jayvirsinh, who is a key accused in the case of the custodial death, had run away by using this car after committing the crime. We questioned Vipulsinh about this car Sunday, but as we did not get convincing answers that day, we summoned him again Monday at our Bhuj office. But he did not report on the appointed time. We have evidence suggesting Jayvirsinh was in touch with this man after he fled Mundra and, therefore, his further questioning is warranted,” a police officer associated with the probe said.

Arjan Gadhvi (27), Harjog Gadhvi (26) and Shamla Gadhvi— all residents of Samaghogha village —were allegedly picked up by police constables of the detection branch of Mundra police station in January as suspects in a house break-in case. However, policemen allegedly tortured the trio while illegally confining them, leading to Harjog’s death on January 19 and of Harjog’s on February 7. Shamla has since recovered from his injuries.

An FIR registered the following day on the basis of a complained filed by Devraj Gadhvi, a distant cousin of Arjan, had named Shaktisinh Gohil, Ashok Kannad and Jaydevsinh Jhala— three head constables attached to Mundra police station — as accused. Police had arrested JA Pathiyar, then police inspector of Mundra and Viral Joshi, a home guard attached to Mundra police station, on January 26 for their alleged involvement in the alleged crime.

JN Panchal, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) of Bhuj division of Kutch (west) police said Jayvirsinh, too, had beaten up victims when the accused policemen took them to Samaghogha village in the name of recovering the stolen valuables and that police are looking for him. Besides, police are also looking for Kapil Desai and Gafurji Thakor, two other constables attached to Mundra police station. But all five of them and Jayvirsinh are on the run.

Devraj has claimed that the victims were tortured by policemen at the behest of Jayvirsinh due to a land dispute. Police officers said that Vipulsinh and Jayvirsinh belong to the same community and are residents of the same village but are not close blood relatives.

The case of a house break-in, reported from Samaghogha, is yet to be cracked, Panchal said.

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