‘I pledge to destroy spiritual guru’s opponents or commit suicide’ confesses Asaram’s disciple

Ahmedabad, May 23: The 31-year-old alleged sharp shooter Karthik Haldar discloses many information about his life at Motera ashram including how he planned to kill number of “key witnesses”, who stood against his imprisoned self-styled “godman” Asaram and his son Narayan Sai, in a statement before police. The 30-page statement was recorded by the Detection of Crime Branch (DCB), Ahmedabad, wherein Haldar, confessed to have killed 3 main witnesses apart from attempting to kill four others in the rape cases against Asaram and his son.

While over Rs 25 lakh was gathered from sadhaks across the nation, as per the police, Haldar said to attacked people who spoke or took the stand against Asaram. “After I started killing opponents of Asaram, money was collected from Asaram sevaks across Bharat… Rs 15 lakh was paid to Damodar singh, a resident of Jharkhand, for procuring an AK-47. But even after two years, he didn’t give the AK-47. However, the two barrel gun and about 40 cartridges, used for killing Akhil Gupta, was provided by Damodar Singh,” reads his statement given to police. Notably, Akhil was killed in Muzaffarnagar last year.

Apart from killing witnesses, a plot was set to do away with Assistant Commissioner of Police Chanchal Mishra, who probed the rape case in Jodhpur. There was a plan to “bomb Chanchal Mishra who was terse while talking to Bapu,” said Haldar.

Basically, from West Bengal, Haldar came from Delhi to Motera ashram in 2001. For 7 years, he did peculiar jobs like accumulating ‘gau mutra’ and depositing money in the bank accounts of Asaram. But, in 2009, following an incident wherein he tried to kill Raju Chandak, a Chandkheda habitant who talked against the ‘godman’, Haldar came close to Asaram.

After the incident, Haldar went to Delhi to began his own transport trade. But, when he went to attend one of Asaram’s satsang, the “godman” called him. “Bapu (Asaram) asked me why have you come from Ahmedbad ashram to Delhi. I told him that I want to start a transport business… Bapu told me there was no need to work, and asked me to start arranging stalls at satsang…. At that time Bapu asked me in private that who was behind the attack on Raju Chandak, and I answered that I and Sanju (Malegaon) have done it. Sanju opened fire at Raju Chandak, while I was riding the bike,” said Haldar while explaining about the incident in the statement.

After Asaram’s detention in 2013, in the rape case, Haldar with few other “samarpit sadhak (dedicated devotees)” planned to kill the witnesses one by one. “After Asaram Bapu went to jail, I met him thrice,” said Haldar, adding that, a month before Asaram’s detention, he talked to ‘Bapu’ over phone. However, owing to network issue, he couldn’t hear anything.

On March 14, Haldar was detained by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad from Raipur. Allegedly, Haldar murdered Amrut Prajapati, a former assistant of Asaram and significant witness who was shot in Rajkot at his Ayurveda clinic in June 2014. Akhil Gupta, who served Asaram as a cook and testified against the “godman” was also killed in January 2015, near his house in Muzaffarnagar. He also murdered personal assistant to Asaram Mahendra Chawla, who was shot at his house in May 2015 in Panipat.

While talking about attacks on the witnesses, Haldar mentioned about a meeting wherein it was decided to “murder all who were against Asaram”, including Prajapati, Rahul Sachan, Shekhar, Raju Chandak, Mahendra Chawla and Dinesh Bhagchandani, in Delhi. Other witnesses were added in the list later.

“Two months had passed since the Delhi meeting, but no witness was eliminated… I took a pledge in the presence of sadhaks Dushyant, Santosh and Narayan Pandey in Panipat that if I don’t kill anyone in a month, I will shoot myself,” reads the statement given by Haldar. In just a week, Haldar with another co-accused known as Bharat killed Prajapati at his clinic.

“I moved closer to the room where Prajapati was sitting. He was coming out of his room. I told him ‘Vaidyaji aa dava check kari lo (Vaidyaji check this medicine)’. While saying this, I put my right hand inside the plastic bag and took out the gun and waved in front of him which made him gasped,” Haldar said adding that, “I shot three to four rounds at him from three to four foot distance, there was a loud noise and due to recoil caused by gun my hand went up and the bullet hit Prajapati’s head… at that time the plastic bag in which another pistol was fell from my had. I tucked the gun and ran out of the clinic and zoomed off on the motorcycle with Bharat. After certain distance, I threw the gun,” Haldar mentioned in his statement while talking about shooting Prajapati.”

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