Gujarat: Man who fired at whistleblower in Asaram case held

Accused Sanjiv Vaidya had allegedly fired at Raju Chandak, a former ‘sadhak’ at Asaram ashram, who later turned whistleblower alleging practises of occult and black magic being carried out at the ashram premises.

The Ahmedabad Police’s Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) arrested a 44-year-old man wanted in connection with a firing incident back in 2009 on Raju Chandak, a whistleblower who had given statements against an ashram run by convicted self-styled godman Asaram Bapu in Sabarmati area of Ahmedabad.

According to police, Sanjiv Vaidya alias Sanju, a native of Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, was held from Asaram ashram in Nasik of Maharashtra by a DCB team and was brought to Ahmedabad on Friday.

According to police, Vaidya had allegedly fired at Raju Chandak, a former ‘sadhak’ (disciple) at Asaram ashram in Sabarmati who later turned whistleblower alleging practises of occult and black magic being carried out at the ashram premises at the behest of convicted Asaram Bapu and his son Narain Sai.

The entire case pertains to the discovery of the bodies of two boys Dipesh Vaghela (10) and Abhishek Vaghela (11), who were cousins and part of the ashram on July 5, 2008 from the banks of Sabarmati river. The discovery of the decomposed bodies had resulted in wide spread protest against Asaram Bapu and his associates by the local residents and later violent protests by the “disciples” of Asaram in Ahmedabad who allegedly assaulted journalists. It was then that Chandak, a sadhak for 22 years with Asaram Bapu, who severed ties with him in 2002, came forward and gave statements against the godman and his ashram in front of a tribunal and the media. Chandak had alleged that instances of occult and black magic were being practised at the Sabarmati based ashram and other ashrams run by the godman.

“On December 5, 2009, Raju Chandak was travelling from the Sabarmati College to NN School road in Ahmedabad when two unidentified men had intercepted his motorcycle and fired on him three rounds. An FIR was then filed under attempt to murder charges against Asaram Bapu and two unknown men at Sabarmati police station. One accused Kartik Haldar alias Raju was arrested by the police on March 14, 2016 as one of the two accused who had fired on Raju Chandak. He told us that it was him and Sanjiv Vaidya who had fired three times at Raju Chandak since he was giving statements against ashrams run by Asaram Bapu. The other accused Vaidya was wanted for 12 years and using human intelligence and technical surveillance we held him from an Ashram in Nasik,” said an official of Ahmedabad DCB.

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