Aam Aadmi Party’s state president Gopal Italia and senior leader Isudan Gadhvi have condemned the death of the 72-year-old Army veteran during a mass protest. Whilst the Gujarat police denied all allegations, saying- ‘no force was used on the protesters and the ex-serviceman died of a heart attack, the agitating ex-servicemen claim Kanjibhai Mothaliya died of police excess.
Gopal Italia and Isudan Gadhvi reached Gandhinagar Civil Hospital to express their condolences and offered support to veteran’s family members.
A 72-year-old Army veteran,Kanjibhai, died during the mass protest on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 in Gandhinagar district. Following his death, family and colleagues of an ex-serviceman alleged that he was brutally beaten by the police and succumbed to injuries.
The area near the hospital turned tense and people came out in support of the veteran’s family members.
Although the police have denied all the claims and said that the ex-serviceman had died of cardiac arrest and other health conditions.
Meanwhile, a case of accidental death has been registered at Gandhinagar’s Chiloda police station. The investigation is undertaken to know the real cause of his death.
Sources revealed that the deceased Kanjibhai Mothaliya was the elder brother of Gujarat’s senior IPS officer JR Mothaliya.
Earlier, a mass protest was held by the retired army personnel against the state government to accept their long-pending demands.
Dismissing the claim, Gandhinagar Superintendent of Police Tarun Kumar Duggal stated, “The deceased army veteran Kanjibhai Mothaliya died of cardiac arrest and because of his other age-related issues.”
Duggal said, “The preliminary investigation revealed that he had died of cardiac arrest. He was suffocating during the protest and was already suffering from a few age-related ailments. We have not used any force on the protesters. There was no question of beating anyone.”
To create pressure on the government for accepting their demands, over 100 ex-servicemen gathered near Chiloda circle at the outskirts of Gandhinagar on Tuesday afternoon and began their march towards the state capital.
Eventually, a clash transpired between the police and the ex-servicemen whilst the protest was at peak. The army veteran Mothaliya got injured during the protest. He was declared dead when he was taken to a civil hospital in Gandhinagar.
Magan Solanki, a key member of Gujarat’s Ex-Armymen Union narrated, “Some protesters reached Gandhinagar, while a group of ex-servicemen sat outside the gate of an army station on the Gandhinagar-Chiloda Road.”
Solanki added, “Kanjibhai Mothaliya was part of that group. Some policemen reached the spot and resorted to baton-charge to disperse the group. Mothaliya was kicked in the middle of the protest, following which, he sustained serious injuries and died. We want action against all the guilty policemen.”
The baton-charge by the police has also been supported by the family members of the deceased veteran.
Narrating the incident at the Gandhinagar Civil Hospital, a family member of the deceased veteran said, “He died after being beaten up by the police. We want justice. He was the only support of our family. The government should compensate us.”
Retired soldiers have been protesting at regular intervals against the state government to accept their long-pending demands.
Some of the key demands included- a government job to one of the members of the family of each martyr and strict implementation of reservations in state-level jobs ranging from Classes 1 to 4 for retired defence personnel.
The family members took the body of the late veteran after completing all the due formalities.
The investigation is underway.