Jethwa was shot on Wednesday night as he was leaving his lawyer's office, opposite the Gujarat High Court which is a high-security area. The two men who fired a round in his neck escaped into the night.
A gun and cartridges left behind by them have been sent to a forensic lab.
Jethwa's family blames BJP MP Dinubhai Solanki for the murder. Over the last two years, Jethwa filed nearly six RTI applications, asking for information on Solanki's possible involvement in illegal mining. "We have been receiving threats and we are sure that Dinubhai Solanki and his family members were involved in the cold blooded murder," says Jethwa's father, Bikhubhai.
Solanki was not available for comment. The BJP says this is a criminal case, and not a political one.
Jethwa's family believes that his campaign had picked up enough to make his opponents uncomfortable - based on the information gathered through his RTI applications, he went to the Gujarat High Court two months ago with a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) alleging large scale illegal mining in and around Gir sanctuary by Solanki and his family. Last week, the court issued notices to the state government and union environment ministry to respond.
Jethwa's murder, say other RTI activists, proves that those trying to fight corruption are at grave risk. "We are feeling highly insecure...if this is how activist are killed how can we feel safe" asks Amarsinh Rathwa, who is also an RTI activist operating in Gujarat.
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