Even as several teams remained on the lookout for the elusive ‘Swamiji’, the Delhi Police on Thursday questioned slain BSP leader-cum-businessman Deepak Bhardwaj’s family in addition to one of his ‘godmen’ associates and his lawyer.
While Anandji Maharaj, one of Bhardwaj’s close aides, was questioned in the morning, sources claimed Bhardwaj’s eldest son, Hitesh, was summoned on Thursday evening. Investigators are still in the process of examining his close relatives and have not given them a clean chit yet.
“We have reason to believe that a property dispute is at the centre of the conspiracy and a female relative of the victim might be involved in it. This is being verified before anything concrete can be said,” said an officer. The police said that the questioning of Purushottam Rana, one of the two contract killers hired to gun down Bhardwaj, had revealed that ‘Swamiji’ used six SIM cards issued on false documents.
“Rana claims the Swami had hired him to gun Bhardwaj down on the pretext that he owed him a substantial amount of money which he was not paying back. This can only be verified after the Swami is nabbed,” the officer said.
Sources claimed a lookout notice, based on his physical description, had been issued to keep him from fleeing the country. “Call detail records weaned from the phone of Purushottam Rana had established that he was in touch with the Swamiji only till the fortnight in the run-up to the incident. On his part, he switched-off all his five mobile phones two days before Bhardwaj was gunned down,” said the officer.
Police said teams were conducting raids across the states of Haryana, especially around Panipat and Sonepat - as well as Pune and Kolhapur in Maharashtra to catch ‘Swamiji’.
On Wednesday, a computer and some documents belonging to him were recovered from a chamber located in the Mandir Marg office of the Hindu Mahasabha where he had stayed in February this year.