Even as one of the two men who gunned down Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader and businessman Deepak Bhardwaj at his south Delhi farmhouse claimed to have done it ‘for the sake of friendship’, a yoga trainer, suspected to be an aide of the ‘mastermind’, was detained in Indore but later let off.
File photo of dead BSP leader Deepak Bhardwaj. HT archive
Sunil Mann, one of the two hired goons who were caught fleeing Bhardwaj’s Rajokri farmhouse on CCTV on the morning of March 26, told reporters that he had absolutely ‘no idea’ about the identity of the person behind the whole conspiracy.
“I don’t know who is responsible for the hit. I just pulled the trigger for the sake of brotherhood,” Mann shouted outside a police station. The two men were later taken to the farmhouse where the crime scene was reconstructed.
Meanwhile, a Delhi Police team detained the aide of the ‘Swamiji’, suspected of having hatched the conspiracy for having provided him shelter on Thursday evening. Sources claimed the detention followed a raid at the small ashram of Avinash Shastri at Devdharam Tekri in Indore where the elusive ‘Swamiji’ had stayed for two days after Bhardwaj’s murder.
Avinash, a yoga trainer, was detained late on Thursday night after being taken into custody and interrogated at an undisclosed place, Aerodrome police station in-charge Akilesh Dwivedi said.
The arrest was made from an ashram situated close to Omanand Parmarthik Nyas Ashram near the Indore airport. The Delhi Police sources claimed the detention followed investigations into call detail records which helped them generate Swamiji’s location to the area.
“’Swamiji’ did not stay at his ashram for long and he was in no way aware of Bhardwaj’s murder. He was allowed to leave after being questioned,” said a Delhi Police officer.
Omanand Saraswati of the Omanand Parmarthic Nyas Ashram denied that he and his ashram had any connection with Avinash at present. However, he admitted that Avinash had been a student in his gurukul 20 years back.
“Avinash’s ashram is just near my ashram but we rarely interacted. I have been informed by villagers of the area that Pratibhanand resided in Shastri’s Ashram from March 30 to April 2,” said Saraswati.
Sources said that Avinash went to Delhi to do his masters in Yoga and resided there for about 10 years.