Friday, Aug 19, 2022

Maharashtra Police Arrests One Suspect In Afghan Spiritual Guru Murder Case

Khwaja Ahmad Zarif Chishti was shot dead allegedly by a group of four unidentified persons in Yeola town in Maharashtra on Tuesday.

Representational image of Maharashtra Police personnel. PTI photo

The Nashik police have detained a suspect in connection with the murder of a Sufi spiritual leader, who hailed from Afghanistan, an official said on Wednesday. 

Khwaja Ahmad Zarif Chishti was shot dead allegedly by a group of four unidentified persons in Yeola town  in Maharashtra on Tuesday, Nashik Rural Police Superintendent 
Sachin Patil told reporters, adding that prima facie the incident took place due to a financial dispute of property issues.

Chishti, popularly known as 'Sufi Baba' in Yeola, was a refugee from Pakistan. He came to India four years ago and the Government of India had given him a refugee pass and an extension of two years to stay in the country, another official said.

The police are also looking at other angles in the case, Patil said. 

Elaborating on sources of income of the deceased, the official said Chishti used to get donations from various people, as he was spiritual leader and was also involved in providing spiritual guidance.

He also had his YouTube channel, which has followers in India and abroad. He was also getting an income from the channel, the official said. 

The official said "there are three main accused in the case and the role of one more person is being investigated."  

On Tuesday, Chishti and the accused persons had gone to Yeola town from Vavi, where he used to live, and performed a prayer, he said.

After having lunch together, they went to the MIDC (Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation) area to perform another worship at an open plot as they were trying to buy it, he said. 

While they were sitting in a vehicle after the worship, one of the accused pulled a firearm and fired a round in Chishti's head, Patil said. 

The accused persons also include Chishti's driver, he said. 

Chishti had an Afghan passport and came to India four years ago. He stayed in Delhi, Karnataka and then in Nashik district of Maharashtra, the official said.

Being a foreign citizen, he was not able to purchase a property in his name, hence he used to buy properties in other people's names, the official said. 

He had purchased a vehicle in other person's name, he said.

Hunt was on for the accused persons, the official added. 

(With PTI inputs)