Land dispute suspected behind BSP leader’s murder

New Delhi, April 3 (IANS) A land dispute is suspected to be behind the murder of BSP leader and business tycoon Deepak Bhardwaj here March 26, a police source said Wednesday.

The realtor might have been killed in connection with a 30 acre piece of land in Haryana’s Bahadurgarh area, the source said.

Investigators have launched a hunt for spiritual leader Swami Pratimanand with whom Bhardwaj is believed to be involved in a dispute over the land, the source said.

Police suspect that Swami took the help of Rakesh Malik, a commercial pilot, who hired the shooters Sunil Mann alias Sonu and Purushottam Rana alias Monu for killing Bhardwaj at his 35-acre farmhouse in Rajokri in south Delhi.

Raids were being carried out in Haryana, Uttarkhand and some other places in search of Swami and Malik, said a police official.

The names of the two accused came to light during interrogation of the shooters and their associate Amit, who drove the contract killers’ escape car.

Police have not ruled out the role of any family member of Bhardwaj in the murder. They have questioned Bhardwaj’s wife Ramesh Kumari, their sons and staff.

Rana and Mann had apparently purchased a pair of SIM cards from Delhi three days before the incident and have admitted to having disposed of their weapons in a canal minutes after fleeing to Haryana after Bhardwaj’s murder, police said.

The information came to light after the arrest of Rakesh alias Bhola, the owner of the car used by the killers after the murder, police said.

Mann, Rana and Amit were sent to 10 days’ police custody by a Delhi court Tuesday.

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