Haren Pandya’s widow seeks Advani’s intervention


Ahmedabad : Assassinated former Gujarat home minister Haren Pandya’s widow Wednesday appealed to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K.Advani and Chief Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that the real killers of her husband are brought to book.

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“Till my last breath I want to fight for justice and to ensure that my husband’s real killers are brought to book,” Jagruti Pandya told media persons here.

Jagruti said her husband had lived and died for the BJP.

“When my husband was killed, the BJP, which was family for us, was in power in Gujarat as well as the centre. As the widow of a senior party worker, I urge Advaniji — whom my husband considered and respected like his father and I too consider similarly — to see that the party takes up this issue and justice is done,” she added.

Jagruti urged Modi to take this up as his fight and ensure that the real killers of her husband are punished. “I want the truth of my husband’s murder to be brought out and hope the chief minister also does the same.”

Expressing her dissatisfaction at the verdict of the Gujarat High Court, which released all the 12 accused in the case, Jagruti said: “It is now clear that my husband’s real killers are still roaming free and this has sapped my patience.”

Meanwhile, suspended Indian Police Service officer Sanjiv Bhatt has come out with a startling observation that it was Tulsiram Prajapati, a close aide of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, who had allegedly killed Haren Pandya.

He said this information was given to him by Asgar Ali, a key accused in Pandya’s murder, in jail during his tenure as superintendent of Sabarmati Jail in Ahmedabad.

Bhatt said he had conveyed this information to the then minister of state for home Amit Shah.

Jagruti, however, refused to comment on Bhatt’s claim and said she has no such information. She said that whether the murder was political or not will be known only after the real killers are caught.

Jaynarayan Vyas, minister and spokesperson for the government, later said that with Jagruti denying that it was a political murder, the hollowness of the Congress claim has been exposed.

“The Congress opposition is playing politics and unable to dent the image of the chief minister, is resorting to such base politics,” Vyas said.

He said that the CBI came under the prime minister and Advani could not be held responsible for the way the case has fared.

“Ahmedabad sessions court had sentenced all the accused, but due to some technical points the Gujarat High Court absolved them of the murder charge. CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) should work out on that technical points and should approach the Supreme Court,” he said.

Pandya, a BJP leader and former home minister of the state, was found murdered near the Law Gardens in Ahmedabad on the morning of March 26, 2003. All the 12 accused, including the prime accused Asgar Ali, had filed an appeal in the Gujarat High Court in 2007 after they were convicted by the special court. The high court absolved them of the murder charge.