Missing Punjab godman drugged to death: police

March 18th, 2009 - 11:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Mohali, March 18 (IANS) Police said the Punjab godman who went missing last month has been drugged to death, and arrested three suspects Wednesday evening.
Haricharan Vashisht, who lived at Manauli village, around 10 km from here, went missing from his home Feb 28.

The arrested accused have confessed before the police of kidnapping Vashisht for ransom and later drugging him to death.

“Vashisht was known to one of the accused and he had gone to his home to meet him. But the accused in connivance with his five accomplices tied him with ropes and asked for the money,” said Jarnail Singh, investigating officer of the case.

“They even collected Rs.35,000 from his home and looted the jewellery Vashisht was wearing. They gave him sedatives mixed in tea. When he fell unconscious, they threw his body in a canal near Patiala,” Singh said.

“Three more accused who are from the same family are still absconding.”

Vashist had emerged as a religious leader and his followers came to visit him for his blessings in huge numbers from far-flung areas every Sunday. He was also working as a senior assistant in Punjab agriculture department in Mohali.

“Police had scrutinised the call details of Vashisht’s phone and zeroed in on people involved in the crime. A police party has been sent to fish the body out from the canal,” said district police chief Jatinder Singh Aulakh.

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