Self-styled godman held for killing BSP leader

Baba Pratibhanand is believed to have hired contract killers for the job

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Self-styled godman held for killing BSP leader
Deepak Bhardwaj was shot dead in 2013


With the arrest and conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh still fresh in everyone's mind, another self-styled godman was nabbed by the Ghaziabad police for the murder of a BSP leader. Senior officers revealed that Machendra Nath also known as Godman Baba Pratibhanand was arrested on Friday night for his alleged involvement in the murder of Bahujan Samaj Party leader Deepak Bhardwaj in 2013.

The godman was wanted by the Delhi Police who had even declared a reward of Rs one lakh on his arrest. The police say they will now seek his remand as he was wanted in their case. Speaking about the case, a senior officer disclosed that the godman was arrested around 9:30pm from the Naya Railway station.

"He had a .32 bore pistol and live cartridges when he was arrested. We have registered a case under the Arms Act against him. He was a wanted criminal who was absconding for the last four years," said Akash Tomar, Superintendent of Police (SP), City, Ghaziabad.

Bhardwaj, who incidentally was one of the richest candidates in the 2009 UP polls — with declared assets estimated to be around Rs 600 crore — was shot dead in his 34-acre farm house in South Delhi on March 26, 2013. A police officer said that Bhardwaj was in love with a 30-year-old woman to which his wife and son Nitesh took objection. Worried that his father would marry the woman and hence deprive him of his share in the property, "They (Nitesh and his mother) thought that they would lose their share of the property and hence his son asked his lawyer Baljeet Sherawat to hatch a conspiracy to kill him. Sherawat who wanted to contest the Lok Sabha elections had his own motives to kill Bhardwaj," said the officer.

As a result, Sherawat got in touch with Pratibhanand who then hired contract killers in order to kill the BSP leader. Police sources added that Bhardwaj was then killed by two hired killers Sunil Mann alias Sonu and Purushottam Rana alias Monu, who were later arrested by the Delhi police.

The killers

Pratibhanand had hired contract killers to kill the BSP leader. Bhardwaj was then killed by two hired killers Sunil Mann and Purushottam Rana, who were later arrested

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