RSS worker Himmat Patidar, 36, who tried to fake his death by killing a farm help and passing off the body as his own, was arrested by Ratlam Police from a temple dharamshala in Rajasthan’s Pratapgarh district late on Wednesday.
A body with the face burnt was found in a farm in Kamed village of Ratlam district on January 23. Himmat’s family members, whose cousin is a district-level RSS functionary, identified the body as his.
Following DNA tests at the forensic science laboratory, the police said the body was not of Himmat’s but of Madan Malviya who worked as a farm help for him two years ago. Madan had also gone missing from the previous night and was treated as a suspect by the police.
Ratlam SP Gaurav Tiwari said although they had similar built, Himmat’s target was not Madan but another farm labourer Ramgopal Malviya alias Kalu. Three days ahead the murder, Himmat had taken Kalu to a barber’s shop and made him have a haircut similar to his. He also kept a sword at his farm. However, on the day of the murder, he called Kalu twice to his farm but he refused to come.
The RSS worker then went to the farm where Kalu worked but did not find him there. Then he zeroed in on Madan who worked as a labourer in a nearby farm. Having worked for him two years ago, Madan did not find anything amiss when Himmat made him ride pillion on his motorbike and took him to his farm.
The police said Himmat tricked Madan into wearing his clothes and jacket. Immediately after they had smoked a bidi, the police said, Himmat strangled Madan and then attacked him with a sword. Then he burnt Madan’s face and got rid of his clothes and the sword. He returned home and left with a bag in which he had kept some clothes and shoes.
Himmat then boarded a bus and later took a train to Indore. From there he took a bus to Ujjain. Then he reached a temple in Pratapgarh where he took a dharmashala room on rent for Rs 10.
Himmat told the police that he owed Rs 26 lakh to some people. He thought he would not have to return it and his family will get Rs 20 lakh insurance money if he faked his death. He also took a loan of Rs 50,000 from a trader a day before the murder. The police recovered Rs 48,715 from him, a copy of Hanuman Chalisa and a chit carrying phone numbers of his family members.