The Mumbai crime branch arrested a 22-year-old man from Mumbai on Saturday in connection with the murder of a lawyer and Dalit leader in Gujarat. 50-year-old Devji Maheshwari was killed on Friday outside his office in Rapar, Kutch district. His family has refused to accept the dead body until those responsible are arrested. Following the incident, tension escalated in the area. According to the police, they received information that the accused in the case was likely to visit Liberty Garden in Malad. A trap was laid and the accused was arrested. The accused has been identified as Bharat Jayantilala Rawal, alias Maharaj. The accused is a resident of Tirupati Nagar in Rapal district.
He will be handed over to Rapal police once they arrive, said an officer from the crime branch. During interrogation, the accused allegedly confessed of killing Maheshwari, said an officer.
According to the police, Rawal allegedly stabbed Maheshwari while he was entering his office on Friday evening. A CCTV footage of a youth following Maheshwari and running back went viral on social media.
The lawyer was killed for taking up a property dispute case between two other communities, alleged his family. No other lawyer was reportedly willing to take up the matter for either parties. The family, in its First Information Report (FIR), named nine people responsible for the murder.
Following the incident, tension erupted in the town as hundreds of people from Rapal and neighbouring towns took to streets in protest. The protestors blocked highways and burned tyres.