Gujarat BJP MLA convicted in rioting case, will get 6-month sentence

Jamnagar, October 14 

A Gujarat court has sentenced BJP MLA Raghavji Patel and four others to six months’ imprisonment in a case of vandalism and rioting at a government hospital in Jamnagar district in 2007.

Judicial Magistrate First Class H J Zala at Dhrol in Jamnagar pronounced the sentence on Tuesday, and later all the five were also granted bail by the court, assistant public prosecutor Ramsinh Bhuria said.

The court on Tuesday convicted Jamnagar (rural) MLA Raghavji Patel and four others in the case involving damage to public property and assault and criminal force on government servants.

Apart from the sentence, the court also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on each of them.

Patel was a Congress MLA when the incident took place in August 2007.

He and his supporters went to a hospital in Dhrol town of Jamnagar to submit a memorandum and forced their way into the office of a doctor. They indulged in vandalism and caused damage to the hospital property.

The court had earlier rejected the government’s plea to withdraw the case against Patel after he joined the ruling BJP, Bhuria said.

On August 10, 2007, a case was lodged at Dhrol police station here against eight persons under IPC sections for unlawful assembly, rioting, assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from performing his duty, damage to public property, among others, and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.

On Tuesday, the court convicted Raghavji Patel, Narendrasinh Jadeja, Jitu Shrimali, Jayesh Bhatt and Karansinh Jadeja were convicted, while three others – Sabbir Chawda, Pacha Varu and Lagdhirsinh Jadeja – were acquitted for want of evidence against them, Bhuria said.

Patel won from the Jamnagar (rural) seat on Congress’s ticket in the state Assembly election in December 2017 and later resigned as a legislator to join the BJP.

He contested the 2019 Assembly by-election as a BJP candidate from the same seat and won. —PTI

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