Asaram cases: Shooter who gunned down 3 witnesses nabbed
In a major breakthrough, self-styled godman Asaram Bapu’s alleged henchman, suspected to have shot three key witnesses in rape cases filed against the religious leader, has been arrested by Anti-Terrorism Squad of Gujarat. Kartik Haldar was arrested from Raipur in Chhatisgarh in a joint operation by the ATS and the Crime Branch unit of city police on Sunday. He was brought here on Monday, police said.
Besides murdering the three witnesses, Haldar had also tried to kill four others, who were directly or indirectly associated with the rape cases filed against the jailed religious leader in Jodhpur and Ahmedabad, said JK Bhatt, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) and in-charge IG of ATS. During interrogation, Haldar told officials he had been instructed by other ‘sadhaks’ (followers) of Asaram to kill these witnesses so as to weaken the cases against the controversial preacher, ATS said in a statement.
Haldar, a sharp shooter and henchman of the self-styled godman, also told the police he was funded by some of the sadhaks of Asaram’s ashrams located in various parts of the country, it stated. He was allegedly involved in the killings of Asaram’s personal doctor Amrut Prajapati in June 2014, his assistant-cum-cook Akhil Gupta in January 2015 and another key witness, Kripal Singh, in July 2015 in different parts of the country.