An injury to the spinal cord caused by a bullet fired from close range, a .12 bore country-made pistol and gunmen on motorcycles.
Based on these common points, police in Muzaffarnagar and Shahjahanpur have begun a joint investigation to ascertain whether two witnesses in two separate rape cases registered against Asaram Bapu were killed by the same attackers.
Akhil Gupta, a witness in a Gujarat case against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai, was shot dead in Muzaffarnagar on January 11. Kripal Singh, a witness in a Jodhpur case against the self-styled godman, was shot at in Shahjahanpur on July 10, and died a day later.
“The police are probing the possibility that the murders in Muzaffarnagar and Shahjahanpur were executed by the same assailants. A police team from Muzaffarnagar has arrived to coordinate with Shahjahanpur police in the case,” said R K S Rathore, DIG, Bareilly Range.
“Three inspectors have been sent to Shahjahanpur to collect details about the Kripal murder case. They have been asked to camp in Shahjahanpur and co-ordinate with the police team there in the investigation,” said K B Singh, SSP,
Officials said that police teams from Shahjahanpur are conducting raids across the state to nab the suspects. The families of Gupta and Singh, and the rape victim, in Shahjahanpur have been provided round-the-clock security, they added.
However, the families of all three have demanded a CBI probe into the two murders and alleged that the killings were the result of a “big conspiracy”.
“We demand financial assistance from the UP government for Kripal’s family as he was its only earning member. His wife Moni is five-months pregnant and has to look after her seven-year-old son too,” said Avneesh Singh, Kripal’s brother-in-law.
Akhil Gupta’s father Naresh Gupta said he had sent letters to the District Magistrate and SSP of Muzaffarnagar, demanding a CBI investigation into his son’s murder.
“We are shocked to know about the murder of another witness in Shahjahanpur,” he added.