Ahmedabad: Former BJP MP Dinu Solanki and six others were Saturday convicted by a special CBI court here for killing RTI activist Amit Jethwa in 2010 as he tried to expose illegal mining activities in Gir forest region. Special CBI judge K M Dave will pronounce the quantum of sentence on July 11 in the case, where the probe was handed over to the central agency by the Gujarat High Court after the Detection of Crime Branch had given a clean chit to Solanki. Also Read – IAF Day: Tributes paid to soldiers killed in line of duty in JammuThe court held Solanki, who had represented Junagadh in Gujarat from 2009 to 2014, along with his cousin Shiva Solanki and five others guilty on charges of murder and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Jethwa was shot dead outside the Gujarat High Court on July 20, 2010 after he tried to expose illegal mining activities allegedly involving Dinu Solanki through RTI applications. Jethwa had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the HC against illegal mining in the Gir forest region, the habitat of Asiatic lions. Charges of murder and criminal conspiracy were framed against the seven accused, including Dinu Solanki, in May 2016. Other accused convicted in the case are Shailesh Pandya, Bahadursinh Vadher, Panchan Desai, Sanjay Chauhan and Udaji Thakore. The high court had ordered a fresh trial after the victim’s father Bhikhabhai Jethwa approached it saying that as many as 105 witnesses had turned hostile due to pressure and intimidation by the accused.
“Liberian militias were running rampant and drugged kids with guns were committing every kind of atrocity possible,” said Carolyn McAskie, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Humanitarian Envoy for the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, told a press conference in Geneva. The “no-go” areas in the west are inaccessible even to the UN’s traditional partners, such as the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) and Doctors without Borders, according to Ms. McAskie. The health situation was deteriorating rapidly and communicable diseases, particularly yellow fever, meningitis and cholera, were on the rise. The anti-polio campaign had ground to a halt.Ms. McAskie said she would report to the Secretary-General, mainly on the humanitarian situation but would also make recommendations in other areas due to the complexity of the regional humanitarian, economic and political crisis. She added that keeping Côte d’Ivoire stable was “critical” for the stability of the region, which would suffer “disastrous” economic and political consequences should the country fall.The humanitarian envoy said the fact that the peace accord was holding was a credit to the international community and the West African States. She also commended the press for the coverage they had given the Côte d’Ivoire crisis and its regional implications.Along with Côte d’Ivoire, Ms. McAskie visited Ghana, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Mali and Guinea.