The CBI has requested an Uttarakhand court to close a probe into the disappearance of Haridwar-based Ramdev’s guru as it had failed to make any headway in the probe launched nearly two years ago, agency officials told HT on Thursday.
The CBI closure report of the inquiry ordered by the UPA government in February 2013 comes as a big relief for Ramdev and his associate Balkrishan, who were under a cloud of suspicion after Shankar Dev went missing about seven years ago while taking a morning walk in Haridwar.
Sources said the investigating agency presented its closure report before the CBI magistrate in Dehradun on Wednesday, saying the case should be closed as it failed to trace Shankar Dev. The magistrate admitted the final report and set January 12 as the next date of hearing.
“It was not established that the missing guru was kidnapped with intention of his wrongful confinement,” a CBI source said on condition of anonymity.
However, the case is yet to be shut as the court can direct the agency to probe further if it finds any holes in the investigation.
Analysts say probe agencies have gone easy on the celebrity-guru because of his proximity with the Narendra Modi-led BJP government.
Shankar Dev, patron of Patanjali Divya Yog Temple Trust and Dayalbag Trust, disappeared from Ramdev’s Haridwar ashram in July 2007, following which Balkrishan lodged a missing person’s report. The Centre ordered the CBI probe on the state government’s recommendation last year.
Ramdev, who criticised the UPA over the issue of black money, had run-ins with the previous government which cracked down on his agitation at Delhi’s Ram Lila grounds in Delhi in June 2011.
In 2013, the Congress-led Uttarakhand government slapped 81 cases against the guru and his Patanjali Trust for alleged tax evasion and land laws violation.