New Delhi: In a major headway in the murder case of billionaire businessman and BSP leader Deepak Bhardwaj, the Delhi Police on Tuesday formally arrested his younger son Nitesh.
Besides Nitesh, the Delhi Police also arrested his aide Baljeet Sehrawat, who works as a lawyer and property dealer.
Confirming the development, DCP (South Delhi), Chaya Sharma said, “We have arrested Deepak Bhardwaj’s son Nitesh and a lawyer Baljeet in connection with the business tycoon’s murder.”
“After thorough interrogation, Nitesh has accepted that he hatched the conspiracy to eliminate his father with his friend and lawyer Baljeet. Two further colluded with a Haridwar-based Swami Pratimanand,” she said.
The top cop also revealed that cash to the tune of Rs 3o lakh was also recovered along with two country-made pistols from Rohtak during the course of investigation.
“Swami Pratimanand, who helped the two persons hatch the conspiracy to murder the BSP leader, is still on the run and efforts are being made to nab him soon,” Sharma said.
When questioned about the motive behind the murder, Sharma said, “Nitesh has told us that he was dissatisfied with his father’s business dealings. Nitesh was also keen on contesting elections for which he wanted his father to bear all expenses, which was turned down by the senior Bhardwaj.”
"Bhardwaj`s murder contract deal was finalised for over Rs 3 crore. Pratimanand was supposed to get Rs 2 crore from the main conspirator while the remaining amount was promised to be provided to the shooters and other middlemen," said the officer.
"Pratimanand wanted to buy an ashram or land for which he needed money. In the meantime, he came in contact with the main conspirator who offered him the deal for the contract killing," the DCP said.
For past 18 months, he was looking for land in Haridawar, Karnal in Haryana and Solan in Himachal Pradesh. He also went to the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh and met several priests regarding this, added the officer. She also stated that the accused did not want to kill Bhardwaj at his farmhouse.
Nitesh was arrested by Delhi Police along with his aide Baljeet Sehrawat and questioned since last night.
Police arrested the duo after collected incriminating evidence against the two in the high-profile murder case.
Ever since the probe began, the police had refused to rule out family members’ involvement in the murder.
Police had earlier questioned Bhardwaj`s wife Ramesh Kumari and elder son Hitesh as well.
Sources earlier said that Nitesh planned his father’s murder as he was upset and frustrated over a property dispute. They added that three murder attempts were made on Bhardwaj earlier also.
The development came even as spiritual leader Swami Pratimanand is absconding and is believed to be changing hideouts to avoid arrest.
Police yesterday said plots to kill the politician were also made in January and March.
Pratimanand, 48, has changed his hideouts in at least seven cities of separate states since March 26 murder of Bhardwaj at his farmhouse in south Delhi`s Rajokri, claimed sources.
Pratimanand, a resident of Beed district in Maharashtra, is suspected to have travelled to locations in Nanded in Maharashtra, Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, Haridwar in Uttrakhand, Indore in Madhya Pradesh, Bangalore in Karnataka, Patna in Bihar, and Kolkata in West Bengal since the murder.
The officer said two days ago he was seen at Bihar`s Patna city, with changed physical appearances.
The swami, who usually wore saffron clothes, was sporting a shirt and a pair of trousers.
Police have released the sketch of Pratimanand and questioned over 20 people at Jhajjar in Haryana, where he was living before becoming untraceable.
Before Bhardwaj`s contract killing, several rounds of meetings took place between the main conspirator and the swami.
Bharadwaj, was gunned down by two hired killers Sunil Mann alias Sonu and Purushottam Rana alias Monu, at his 35-acre farmhouse in South Delhi. They have been arrested.
Police also arrested Rakesh alias Bhola, the owner of the car used by the killers after the murder, and Rakesh Malik, a commercial pilot who allegedly hired the shooters.
With IANS inputs