Self-styled ‘godman’ Asaram, who is behind bars for three years in rape cases, has been chargesheeted by the Detection of Crime Branch (DCB), Ahmedabad, for allegedly being a conspirator in a murder attempt on a former disciple who testified against him.
Police have named Asaram and another suspect as “wanted” accused in the chargesheet.
According to the chargesheet submitted before a metropolitan magistrate on June 13, accused no-1 Kartik Haldar alias Raju and Dr K D Patel alias Kantilal have been booked under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 120 b (conspiracy) and 114 (abetment) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Arms Act.
The chargesheet stated that three accused in the case were yet to be arrested. They have been identified as “Sant Asaram Guru Lilashahji Bapu, presently residing at Jodhpur jail, Rajasthan, originally resident of Sant Shri Asaram Ashram, Motera, Sabarmati, Ahmedabad,” Pankaj alias Arjun Kishanchand Mirchandani, resident of Sant Asaram Asharam, Motera, and Sanjiv alias Sanju Malegaon Vaid, whose identity has not been ascertained.
“Since, the chargesheet has been filed naming Asaram as an accused who is wanted in the case, we will take him into custody,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCB) Deepan Bhadran told The Indian Express.
The case pertains to the attempt to murder Raju Chandak, a resident of Sabarmati area, who was Asaram’s disciple for nearly two decades. According to police, Chandak was shot at on December 6, 2009, by the accused in a pre-planned criminal conspiracy for testifying before Justice (retired) D K Trivedi commission and speaking to the media against Asaram. The commission was set up to probe the mysterious death of two children studying at Asaram’s gurukul.
The chargesheet said that “on the instance of Asaram, Kartik, Dr K D Patel and Pankaj hatched a criminal conspiracy to purchase a motorcycle and firearms (revolver). The accused gave Rs1 lakh cash to Kartik who bought a motorcyle. The rest of the money was given to Sanjiv who purchased firearms…”
Chandak survived the attack and lodged an FIR naming Asaram. The chargesheet has cited 42 witnesses against the accused.