The RTI activist was shot dead on July 20, 2010, by two assailants near Gujarat High Court.
Former BJP Member of Parliament Dinu Solanki and six others were sentenced to life imprisonment on Thursday in connection with the murder of RTI activist Amit Jethwa in July 2010. A special CBI court in Ahmedabad pronounced all accused — Solanki, his nephew Shiva Solanki, Sanjay Chauhan, Shailesh Pandya, Pachan Desai, Udaji Thakore and police constable Bahadursinh Vader — guilty under IPC Sections 302 (murder), 120B (criminal conspiracy to commit an offence), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence), and Section 25(1) of Arms Act (illegal possession of arms or ammunition).
The RTI activist was shot dead on July 20, 2010, by two assailants near Gujarat High Court. He had exposed illegal mining activities in Gir forest allegedly by the then BJP MP. Both assailants fled the spot soon after the firing, leaving their two-wheeler and a country-made revolver behind. Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) of Ahmedabad initially did not name Solanki in the two charge sheets filed against the accused. At the time, the DCB, then under Joint Commissioner of Police, had given a clean chit to Solanki.
The murder led to an uproar among RTI activists in the country. They raised concerns over their safety, after which the father of the victim moved the Gujarat High Court urging a CBI probe. The court accepted the demand and transferred the case to the agency. Solanki was an MP from Junagarh at the time he was arrested from the national capital in 2013 and was charge-sheeted in the murder case.
The CBI accused him as the main conspirator in the incident. Vadher had reportedly confessed to giving Rs 11 lakh to two contract killers for the murder, after which he arrested. At the time, the Crime Branch had said that their probe made them believe that Vadher ordered the murder in order to take revenge for loss of money he suffered while fighting the victim’s RTI applications for a 12-hectare mining land that he bought in Gir.