In a significant breakthrough, the Anti-Terrorism Squad of Gujarat Police has arrested an alleged henchman on the charges of killing three witnesses in rape cases filed against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu. Kartik Haldar, a native of South 24 Pargana district in West Bengal, was arrested from Raipur, Chhattisgarh, in a joint operation by ATS and Crime Branch unit of city police.

Upon investigation it was revealed that Haldar had also attempted to kill four other persons who were involved in rape cases filed against the jailed religious leader in Jodhpur and Ahmedabad, said J K Bhatt, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) and in-charge IG of ATS. Revelations also revealed that he was hired by other 'sadhaks' (followers) of Asaram so as to weaken the cases against the controversial preacher.

Source: b'A file photo of Asaram Bapu outside the district sessions court in Jodhpur/ Source: PTI'

Haldar first came in contact with Asaram in 2000 for a religious discourse. He then became a full-time follower after a year and started living in Asaram's ashram at Motera near Ahmedabad. He had acquired 10 country-made pistols and 94 cartridges from various arms dealers in Jharkhand and UP for executing all his crimes. 

Here is the list of all crimes he did for the godman, as per the police:

Source: b'Police arrest a married couple in Ahmedabad on Monday in connection with the attack on witnesses in rape cases against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai/ Source: PTI'

In September 2015, a Bengaluru couple was arrested from Ahmedabad for their role in the attacks on witnesses. As both of them were hard-core followers of Asaram, they wanted to teach the witnesses a lesson as per a report by Indian Express

(With inputs from PTI)

(Feature image source: PTI)