New Delhi: Self-styled godman Asaram Bapu's alleged henchman, Karthik Haldar, who is accused of shooting and killing three key witnesses in rape cases filed against the religious leader has confessed that Rs 25 lakh was collected from sadhaks across the country to eliminate witnesses.
Haldar, who was arrested from Raipur in Chhatisgarh in Mrach in a joint operation by ATS and Crime Branch unit of city police, told police that a conspiracy was also hatched to eliminate Assistant Commissioner of Police Chanchal Mishra, who investigated the rape case in Jodhpur.
In his statement, Halder said that Rs 25 lakh was collected from Asaram's sadhaks located in various parts of the country for procuring an AK-47 and to eliminate witnesses.
He also confessed to have killed three key witnesses -Asaram's personal doctor Amrut Prajapati in June 2014, his assistant-cum-cook Akhil Gupta in January 2015 and another key witness, Amrut Prajapati, in July 2015- in rape cases filed against Asaram.
All of them were shot from close range as part of a conspiracy to eliminate those who had given their testimonies against Asaram, ATS had earlier said.
Prajapati, an Ayurvedic doctor, was shot dead by Haldar at his dispensary in Rajkot. The doctor was vocal about Asarams misdeeds and also became a witness in the rape case, filed by one of the two victim sisters three years back.
Gupta became a witness in the same case in 2013. He was fatally shot by the accused near his house in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh. The probe in this case was handed over to CBI.
The sharp shooter then targeted Singh, who was killed in Shahjahanpur, UP. Singh used to work as a clerk in the office of a transporter whose minor daughter had lodged a case of sexual assault against Asaram in Jodhpur. Singh was the prime witness in that case.
(With PTI inputs)