Ahmedabad: In a major revelation, a devotee of Asaram Bapu, arrested here, told police that the self-styled godman had conspired to eliminate a witness who had deposed against him in connection with the mysterious death of two minor boys near his ashram here in 2008.
Asaram's follower KD Patel, who was arrested after his surrender before a local court here yesterday, made this revelation during police interrogation, police said.
Patel had allegedly financed attack on the witness Raju Chandak.
During interrogation, Patel told police that Asaram had asked him to plan an attack on Chandak, who had conducted a sting operation against him (Asaram) following the death of the two boys, who lived in his ashram located in Ahmedabad's Motera locality, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) JK Bhatt told reporters.
"Asaram was upset after Raju Chandak, his former devotee, did a sting operation against him and gave a CD to the media and police. Asaram asked Patel to kill Chandak and take the help of Kartik Haldar, (who was arrested last month in connection with murder and attacks on witnesses), and used him to fire at Raju Chandak. The weapon was thrown in Sabarmati river flowing near ashram, and motorcycle used in the operation was dumped in Vadodara," Bhatt said.
In 2009, after Chandak deposed before Rtd Justice DK Trivedi Commission, constituted by the state government, to probe the death of two minor boys, Asaram planned Chandak's murder, Bhatt said.
Bodies of the minor boys, who lived at a gurukul run by Asaram in Motera, were found on the bank of Sabarmati river near the ashram in 2008.
"Asaram is a conspirator, it is revealed by KD Patel. Now that Asaram's involvement is known, we will take action against him in future," he said.
Patel was arrested yesterday by SOG after he surrendered before a local court. His name was revealed by Haldar, who told police that Patel offered him money to kill Chandak.
According to police, Patel worked as a mediator between Asaram and Kartik Haldar, who was arrested from Raipur in Chhattisgarh in connection with the murder and attack on witnesses against Asaram, Bhatt said.
Patel was a manager, financier and legal cell head of Asaram's Motera ashram in Ahmedabad.
According to his revelation, Asaram asked him to manage the murder of Chandak. Patel provided Kartik with money, motorcycle and a revolver after which Kartik, along with one Sanju Malegao fired upon Chandak and fled. Chandak survived the attack.
Asaram is currently lodged in Jodhpur jail in an alleged rape case.
Patel was earlier arrested in a Rs 13-crore bribery case by Surat police after he offered police bribe to weaken rape case against Asaram.
Asaram is lodged in Jodhpur jail since 2014 in alleged rape case. A court in Gandhinagar this week framed charges against him in another rape case, filed by a Surat-based woman.