Deepak Bhardwaj murder: Cops ask family of Bhardwaj to stay in city till probe is over

Delhi Police has told the family of slain BSP leader Deepak Bhardwaj not to leave the city till the investigations into the case are completed.

Written by Shalini Narayan | New Delhi | Published: April 8, 2013 1:58 am

Delhi Police has told the family of slain BSP leader Deepak Bhardwaj not to leave the city till the investigations into the case are completed. The family is yet to be given a clean chit in the case.

Investigators are trailing Swami Pratibhanand,who they suspect is the main link to the conspirator in the murder of Bhardwaj at his farmhouse on March 26. Sources said Pratibhanand was last spotted at Patna railway station,from where he took an auto and disappeared. Two teams of the Delhi Police were sent there and Patna police were informed.

Sources said,six months ago,Pratibhanand had applied for a passport and a team recovered his passport verification form from Haridwar. Investigators also checked three of his bank accounts,which did not have any money.

Purushottam Rana,the main assailant who allegedly gunned down Bhardwaj at his farmhouse said he would visit the farmhouse with Pratibhanand,whenever the guru went to meet Bhardwaj.

Pratibhanand,sources said,last met his family in November,during Diwali. Police said Pratibhanand first came to the capital in 2006 and began taking yoga classes in Outer Delhi. Through an associate,he met Bhardwaj the same year. The guru met the two accused,Rana and Pradeep,who later became his disciples.

Sources said Pratibhanand left Delhi on March 24,two days before Bhardwaj was shot dead,and that he stayed at an ashram between March 25 and 30.

Apart from tracking his movement through calls made to his aides and associates from public phone booths,police said they were making inquiries based on his physical description to nab him. Sources said Pratibhanand often disguises himself and goes by different names.

Police said they were questioning some of Pratibhanand’s female friends in addition to other associates based across north India to track him.

Police have conducted raids in Kankhal,Haridwar,Haryana and Indore in search of Pratibhanand. Police sources said they have more leads from questioning the suspected killers.

Sources said after Pratibhanand instructed Rana to execute the plan,he decided to purchase a Skoda Laura,which was used in the crime. Rana was given an advance of Rs 2 lakh and he approached an agent in Adarsh Nagar. Rana gave his Ford Figo,a Santro and Rs 1.5 lakh to the agent,who,sources said,handed over the Skoda registered in the name of Rakesh — one of the four arrested in the case. Rana then took the help of Mann and Amit,who drove the Skoda to the farmhouse,police said. Amit too has been arrested.

On March 26,they went to the farmhouse and told guards that they wished to book Farmhouse No. 2 for a holiday.

Once inside,Rana told Amit that he should start the car as soon as he heard gunshots. They spotted Bhardwaj taking a walk on the lawn and went to him. After a brief interaction with Bhardwaj,Rana shot Bhardwaj in the chest. Mann shot him in the back. Rana then fired at him again.

After the killing,police said,they fled to Nana Kheri village in Chawla in West Delhi. Amit was paid Rs 2,000.

Rana and Mann then went to Jhajjar in Haryana where they asked Rakesh to collect his Skoda and collected their Santro. The two then went to Charki Dadri where they abandoned the Santro and tried seeking shelter at their relatives’ and friends’ houses,but were turned away.

The number of teams investigating the case has now been increased to 20 and over 200 persons have been questioned so far.

WHO IS PRATIBHANAND

n Swami Pratibhanand hails from Beed district in Maharashtra

n Police suspect he is the main link to the conspirator who gave killers the contract to murder Bhardwaj

n He has an ashram in Haridwar

n Pratibhanand first came to the capital in 2006 and began taking yoga classes in Outer Delhi

n Through an associate,he met Bhardwaj the same year

n The guru met Purushottam Rana here and Rana later became his disciple

n Police said Pratibhanand left Delhi on March 24,two days before Bhardwaj was shot dead,and he stayed at an ashram in Haridwar between March 25 and 30

n Pratibhanand was last spotted at Patna railway station,from where he took an auto and disappeared

n Police said they were questioning some of Pratibhanand’s women friends in addition to other associates based across northern India to track him

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