In a twist to the murder of RSS worker Himmat Patidar in Madhya Pradesh’s Ratlam district, it has turned out that the victim was not of Patidar but instead the prime suspect Madan Malviya, police said today.
A desire to claim Rs 20 lakh life insurance that Patidar had taken out in his own name in December 2017 appears to be main motive behind the murder, police said.
Patidar, who is absconding, is the prime suspect in the murder, putting the state Bharatiya Janata Party on the defensive as they had accused the Congress government of failing on the law and order front. A reward of Rs 10,000 had been announced for information about him.
According to the police, a body, with its face burnt, was found on January 23 near Patidar’s field in Kamed village of Ratlam, and his motorcycle was found parked nearby. Patidar had left the house on January 22 night to start the pump for watering his fields and had not returned home, police had said, quoting his family members.
Police said Patidar’s father Laxminarayan identified the body as that of his son and it was handed over to the family who then cremated him. The family of Malviya, who was till then the main suspect of the murder, did not protest.
However, police started suspecting something was amiss when they found shoes and trousers belonging to Malviya, lying in a nearby field, and some other small clues that came up during the investigations.
“Why would a person who is supposedly running away after committing a murder leave his trouser and shoes behind? Also the last few calls of Patidar’s mobile had been deleted, arousing suspicion. The diary which we found near the body had all the details of insurance policy, so that his family had no problems in making the claim. We also found that Patidar was in debt and needed money.
“All this led us to go suspect that it was not Patidar ‘s body and we went in for a DNA test. We took samples from Patidar and Malviya’s parents and the results have proved that the body is that of Malviya and not Patidar,” Ratlam’s additional superintendent of police Pradip Sharma said.
“We suspect that Patidar had chosen to kill Malviya as both of them were of the same height and built. He knew Malviya well as the latter used to work in his fields two years back. To confuse the police, Patidar first tried to sever Malviya’s head but when he couldn’t, he had burnt Malviya’s face and planted his own mobile phone, Aadhar card, ATM card, a pocket diary etc near Malviya’s body,” he added.
.Police said that as of now they have not charged anyone from Patidar’s family as being involved in the murder or conspiracy, but they are investigating all angles.
The revelation has come as a rude shock to the BJP who had said their workers were being targeted and its local leaders had staged protests demanding early arrest of the accused. Former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan too had tweeted saying that he was pained by Patidar’s death. Earlier too BJP had raised hue and cry after the murder of Mandsaur municipal chairman Prahlad Bandhwar, but it turned out that it was BJP worker Manish Bairagi who had committed the crime due to a personal dispute.
Congress media cell incharge Shobha Oza said the BJP was trying to make political capital out of the murders but they had fallen in their own trap.
BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal, however, said that it does not who killed whom. The fact is murders are taking place and Congress is ruling the state and they are responsible for law and order, he said.