2015 BJP leader’s murder accused withdraws temporary bail blea from Gujarat HC

Surat: An accused involved in the 2015 murder of two BJP leaders withdrew his request for temporary bail on Monday after the Gujarat High Court signalled its reluctance to grant the application.

Abdul Salim, also known as Salim Ghanchi, had previously requested a 15-day temporary bail, but this was rejected by an Ahmedabad city session court on November 10. Ghanchi later appointed a high court and sought temporary bail from November 20 to 27 to attend his nephew’s wedding in Mumbai.

He is one of the 10 accused in the case, facing charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Indian Penal Code sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), and 153A (promoting enmity between various groups). He is currently held at Surat’s Lajpore jail.

Opposing the plea, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) argued that Ghanchi’s brother was already attending the marriage and his regular bail plea was pending, with the trial currently at the stage of examining witnesses. After hearing both sides, Justice Vimal Vyas indicated that he was not inclined to grant relief to Ghanchi.

The murders in question occurred on November 2, 2015, when two BJP leaders, the party’s former district president Shirish Bangali and the general secretary of its youth wing, Pragnesh Mistry, were shot dead by two masked gunmen. Allegations suggested that the murders were part of a larger conspiracy to destabilise the democratically elected government and incite Hindu-Muslim clashes in Bharuch and other parts of Gujarat. The NIA took over the investigation from local police on December 5, 2015.