(representational image)
(representational image)Reuters

The youngest son of slain Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Deepak Bhardwaj was arrested for conspiring his father's murder. The business tycoon was shot to death at his farmhouse on 26 March.

Nitesh was arrested along with two others - Neeraj (his friend) and Baljeet Sehrawat (family lawyer) - in connection with the murder. Police believe that a property dispute could be the motive behind the killing.

Bhardwaj was shot dead at his "Nitesh Kunj" farmhouse in Rajokri by two men. The alleged killers were caught on a CCTV camera brandishing their guns at the security guards after the killing and leaving the farmhouse in a Skoda. Two weeks later, cops arrested the contract shooters.

The main accused in the case, self-styled godman Pratibhanand, who allegedly executed the plan to kill Bhardwaj is absconding. Pratibhanand, a resident of Beed district in Maharashtra, has been changing his hideouts ever since Bhardwaj was murdered.

According to police, the godman has visited at least seven cities in different states including Nanded in Maharashtra, Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, Haridwar in Uttrakhand, Indore in Madhya Pradesh, Bangalore in Karnataka, Patna in Bihar, and Kolkata in West Bengal, reported CNN IBN.

Pratibhanand was last seen in Patna in changed appearances two days ago. The godman was spotted in a T-shirt and a pair of trousers, instead of the saffron clothes that he usually wears.

"Bhardwaj's murder contract deal was finalised for over ₹3 crore. Pratibhanand was supposed to get ₹2 crore from the main conspirator while the remaining amount was promised to be provided to the shooters and other middlemen," a Delhi police officer said, according to Indo-Asian News Service.

"Pratibhanand wanted to buy an ashram or land for which he needed money. In the meantime, he came in contact with the main conspirator who offered him the deal for the contract killing," the officer said.

He added that several rounds of meetings took place between the main conspirator and the swami.

The officer also said that the accused had earlier attempted to kill Bhardwaj twice - in January and March - before he was shot dead at his farmhouse on 26 March. Cops have already arrested Rakesh alias Bhola, the owner of the car which was used by the contract shooters. Rakesh Malik, a commercial pilot, who allegedly hired the killers has also been detained.

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