Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh government Friday recommended CBI probe into murder of prime witness Akhil Gupta in a rape case against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu.
"A CBI probe has been recommended to facilitate investigations into the murder of witness Akhil Gupta," Principal Secretary (Home) Debashis Panda said here.
35-year-old Akhil was shot by unknown persons on his way home in Muzaffarnagar in January this year.
He was the second witness to be killed in the case after Amrut Prajapati, a former Asaram aide who was shot dead in June last year in Gujarat. Another witness Kripal Singh was killed earlier this month.
Police said Akhil was a cook and personal aide of 74-year-old Asaram, who has been in jail since August, 2013, for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old schoolgirl.
Since then, he has been booked, along with his son, for the alleged rape of two sisters in Surat in Gujarat.
Akhil had been questioned by the Gujarat Police in 2013 and had reportedly given a statement against the self-styled godman who runs over 400 ashrams across India.
Reports said that to prove that Asaram was guilty, Akhil had even handed over a proof to the police officials.
He was shot by unidentified people on January 11 this year. Subsequently, he was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead.
Since his murder, Akhil's family members and Opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh have been urging the Samajwadi Party government to recommend a CBI probe into the matter, accusing UP police of failing to nab the culprits.