By DNA Correspondent | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA
Adalaj police on Wednesday morning arrested the accused trio - Bharat Pathak, director of Gujarat Ecological Education and Research (GEER) foundation, former deputy director NK Nanda and district forest officer Suman Gurjar - facing charges of abetment in connection with the suicide of 44-year-old Range Forest Officer (RFO) Yadavendrasinh Chauhan.
The accused, appearing for the first time before the police, had their statements recorded and by afternoon, were freed. They have denied the allegations made by deceased RFO Chauhan in his affidavits before he committed suicide.
All the three secured anticipatory bail last week from the Gujarat high court in Ahmedabad and were produced before the investigating agency to record their statements. The police officially arrested them on Wednesday following which they were granted regular bail.
The Adalaj police had fished out the dead body of Chauhan from Narmada canal on April 13, 2011. Chauhan had made several serious allegations against most of the top GEER foundation officials and state forest department in his affidavits before he took his life.
In his suicide note, Chauhan had alleged, to clear the bills for a project (Butterfly Park) he had completed, the accused were demanding bribe from him. Chauhan's father, Chandansinh Chauhan, a retired deputy superintendent of police, had lodged an FIR against the top three officials.
The father alleged that his son was under depression for many months before he took the drastic step. In fact, in one of Chauhan's affidavits, he has claimed that NK Nanda forced him to pay Rs 20,000 for Diwali greeting cards in 2010, adding that, his son was also forced to incur expenses for Nanda's daughter marriage.
However, all the three accused have reportedly denied the allegations in their statement recorded with Adalaj police on Wednesday. One of the accused told DNA that Chauhan was mentally unstable. On the other hand, police officials investigating the case said that they will try to get the accused on remand for further investigation on Friday.