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Asaram's close aide arrested in witness murder case

July 19, 2016 13:54 IST

A close aide of Asaram who was evading arrest in connection with the murder of a prime witness in a rape case against the self-styled godman has been arrested from Mirakpur village in Saharanpur district.

Niraj Kumar, Asaram's Nandgaon ashram in-charge, was arrested on Monday. He owned a dairy farming business in the village. A cache of arms, 17 cows and several fake IDs have been seized from the place he was nabbed, Circle Officer Yogender Pal Singh said.

He was at large since the murder of Akhil Gupta, the prime witness in a rape case against Asaram, on January 11 last year, Singh said.

Gupta was a cook and personal aide of Asaram, who has been in jail since August 2013, for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old schoolgirl.

Kumar's alleged involvement in the murder was revealed by Kartik Haldar, the henchman of the self-styled godman, who had allegedly gunned down Gupta. Haldar was arrested from Raipur in Chhattisgarh in March.

During interrogation, Kumar said he had given shelter to Haldar, and arranged a motorcycle and weapons for him, Singh said.

The accused has been booked on charges of cheating and misleading police, besides under Arms Act.

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