August 29, 2016 5:03:19 am
NEARLY TWO months after former BJP MLA Manish Gaur was shot at by motorcycle-borne assailants, the Aligarh police on Sunday arrested senior BJP leader Rajesh Bharadwaj for allegedly conspiring against Gaur and hiring contract killers to murder him.
Aligarh SSP Luv Kumar said Bharadwaj — also the president of Vishwa Brahmin Sangh — was arrested from his residence in Ghaziabad. He was charged for attempt to murder and planing attack on Gaur.
Bharadwaj and Gaur were involved in a property dispute case, police said. He had hired contract killers for Rs 9 lakh, who shot at the former MLA from Barauli seat outside his house in Swarna Jayanti Nagar on July 2. The victim received two bullet injuries but survived the attack.
Following this incident, the police arrested the two contract killers in the third week of July on the basis of CCTV footage recovered from a nearby shop. “The two arrested were ‘supari’ killers who had no idea of who had hired them and who had given them the money. The contract was of Rs 9 lakh and the target was Manish Gaur,” the SSP said.
On being interrogated by the police, the two named Dinesh Thakur as a party to the deal. Two days later, Thakur, who is considered very close to Bharadwaj, surrendered in Agra court in another case lodged against him a few years ago.
“We were tracking the motive behind the attack as Thakur had no direct link with Gaur. Following a tip-off from an informer, we arrested Vinod, brother of Dinesh Thakur, a couple of days ago. He told us the story behind the attack on Gaur,” said Kumar.
Dinesh was remanded in police custody on Saturday, following which he revealed that Bharadwaj wanted to kill Gaur as the former MLA owned a piece of land that he wanted for his construction business.
Bharadwaj was later arrested and sent to jail on Sunday along with his aides. Police also recovered the weapon used in the attack and gathered other evidence against the accused.
A native of Aligarh, Bharadwaj, was an active member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh since his college days and was selected as the board member of the Textile Ministry in 2006.
He had also served as the vice-chairman of Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti in New Delhi, an autonomous organisation under the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, in 2009. The post is considered equivalent to a state minister. Bharadwaj was given a ticket from BJP for Aligarh’s Atrauli constituency in 2012 state polls. He was pitching for a party ticket in the next year’s Assembly polls as well.
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