Chhabil Patel conspired the sensational ‘on the running train’ murder of Bhanushali, Manisha also a co-conspirator – Police


In a sensational revelation Police today said that the murder of former MLA Jayanti Bhaushali in the first AC coach of a running train earlier this month was the result of a conspiracy by his political rival and ex-MLA Chhabil Patel and a lady Manisha Goswami.

Addressing a press conference here ADGP of CID-crime Ajay Tomar today said that both Patel, who was ex MLA from the same Abdasa seat in Kutch and Manisha who was jailed in a case filed by Bhanushali’s nephew had serious differences and enmity with Bhanushali who was traveling from Bhuj to Ahmedabad on the day of the incident.

Chhabil Patel had helped Manisha in coming out of jail in August last year. One Surjit Bhau from Pune was also acquainted with her. A conspiracy for the murder of Bhanushali was hatched in Pune in November last year. Later, the two shooters identified as Shashikant alias Dada Wagle and Shaikh Ashraf Anwar both residents of Yerwada in Pune and others from the gang of Bhau came to Kutch and stayed in the farm house of Patel since December 25. The reiki of the activities and movement of Bhanushali was done from there.

Chhabil left for Muscat (abroad) on January 2 while Manisha remained in Kutch from January 3 to 6. On the day of murder ie the night between January 7 and 8, the two shooters boarded Sayaji Nagari express from Bhachau and after shooting Bhanushali to death in his coach H1, they later alighted from the train after pulling the chain close to Shamkhyali. Later with the help of the gang members they went towards Pune via Radhanpur. The CCTV footage of the toll points have confirmed their movement.

Tomar said that the two had entered the AC first coach claiming to be passengers with confirmed tickets. They later knocked at the door of the cabin in which apart from Bhanushali another passenger identified as Pawan More was sleeping. Bhanushali had got some inkling that there was something wrong and had tried to resist but by that time they had entered in to the cabin and fired shots at him killing him on the spot. One mobile phone of Bhanushali was found at the spot.

He said that apart from CID-crime, Railway police, ATS and crime branch of Ahmedabad police were involved in the investigation of the case originally lodged at Gandhidham.

Tomar said that two persons identified as Nitin Vasant Patel and Rahul Jayanti Patel (both residents of Kutch) , who were deployed for taking care of the shooters and others at the guest house of Patel have been arrested and they have revealed various details.

The location of shooters and other conspirators were being tracked and would be nabbed soon,’ he said.

The only other passenger traveling with Bhanushali in the cabin Pravin More was also interrogated in detail.

Notably, Bhanushali was in trouble in July last year when a 21 year old divorced woman from Surat has made allegations of rape against him. She had however taken back her allegations following which the case was quashed at the instructions of Gujarat High Court on August 7.
Bhanushali’s Nephew Sunil who had earlier lodged complaint against Manisha (who had also levelled allegations of sexual harassment against Bhanushali) and got her jailed had lodged another FIR against her, Chhabil Patel and a few others in connection with the murder of his uncle.

Bhanushali represented Abdasa Assembly constituency in Kutch from 2007 to 2012. Patel, a Congress candidate then, had defeated him in the 2012 Assembly elections. After two years, Patel joined the BJP but lost the resultant by-poll for the seat in 2014. In 2017, the party chose Patel over Bhanushali for the Abdasa seat, but he lost to a Congress candidate.

Bhanushali’s nephew alleged that Patel held his uncle responsible for his defeat in 2014 and 2017 and held a grudge against him.

He had also alleged that to end Jayanti Bhanushali’s political career, Chhabil Patel and others made a CD which showed his uncle in a compromising position with a woman.