Gujarat: Newly-wed groom, his nephew injured in blast triggered by electronic teddy bear, one held

A 25-year-old newly-wed groom and his three-year-old nephew were grievously injured in Gujarat’s Navsari district in a blast triggered by an electronic teddy bear that was gifted to the man and his wife on May 13. The bride’s father filed a case based on a suspicion on the alleged role of his elder daughter’s estranged live-in partner, following which, the police arrested the accused and are currently questioning him.

The police said the accused, Raju Patel, has confessed to have committed the crime and further investigation in the case is on. The police also said, both the groom and the child are critical and have been admitted to the hospital.

According to details, on May 13, Latesh Gavit, 32, a resident of Mindabari village in Vansda taluka of Navsari district got married to Salma Harishchandra Gavli, 28, a resident of neighbouring Jangpur village, who works as a teacher at a government school in the village.

On Tuesday, Latesh and his nephew Jiyansh Pankaj Gavit were opening the wedding gifts when the blast took place. Talking to the Indian Express, the bride’s father Harishchandra Gavli said, “Latesh found a beautiful teddy bear among the wedding gifts. When he connected the electric wire to the switch board and put on the switch, a blast took place and injured both Latesh and Jiyansh.”

Harishchandra also said that Salma and the other family members were in the other rooms and came out after hearing the blast. Salma also called up her father and intimated him about the incident. Harishchandra and the others took the injured to Navsari for treatment and also informed Navsari police about the incident.

Meanwhile, Salma in her statements said Aarti Patel, an Asha worker in the neighbouring Kamboya village, had attended the marriage and had handed over the teddy bear to her without mentioning who gave it to her. Aarti was traced by the police and when questioned, she disclosed that Raju Patel had given her the teddy bear to give the couple as a gift.

Harishchandara then told the police that Raju was his elder daughter Jagruti’s estranged live-in partner. The duo stayed together for five years. While Raju is already married, he used to stay with Jagruti and the two had a daughter. Three months back Jagruti had returned to her parents’ home with her daughter after a quarrel with Raju over her insistence to get married, said the police.

Vansda police sub-inspector V N Vaghela said, “We have caught Raju on Wednesday and are waiting for his Covid test report. During questioning, Raju had confessed to have committed such a crime. He was angry with Jagruti and her parents and wanted to teach them a lesson by sending such a gift. We are trying to dig out more information about where Raju bought such a teddy bear from. Latesh is critical as he had incurred injuries on his face along with wounds on his left hand. Jiyansh has also incurred severe burn injuries. Both have been admitted to private hospitals.”


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