Mumbai: A sadhu residing in his ashram in Nagthana in Maharashtra’s Nanded district, some 250 kilometres from Aurangabad, and another person were killed on Sunday morning, with police stating that robbery may have been the motive.
The accused, a history-sheeter with a 10-year-old murder case against his name, was held a few hours later from Tanur police station limits along the Telangana state border, police added.
Superintendent of Police Vijaykumar Magar said sadhu Shivacharya Nirnay Rudrapratap Maharaj (33) and a 50-year-old man identified as Bhagwan Shinde were killed around 4am in Nagthana under Umri police station limits.
The SP said Sainath Lingade, a resident of the same village, is a history-sheeter and was known to Shinde, who is a resident of Chinchala village.
“There is a possibility Sainath and Shinde met each other at a zilla parishad school some 750 metres away from the ashram where the deceased sadhu stayed. Lingade killed Shinde first, kept his body in a bathroom, and then went to where the sadhu resided, killed him,” the SP said.
He kept the body of the sadhu in the car and tried to escape but the vehicle dashed into the gate of the ashram, which woke up residents nearby, the SP said.
“As the residents came out, in the melee, the accused fled on a two-wheeler. The body of the sadhu was found in the car. Lingade has a murder case against his name, which was registered at Dharmabad police station some 10 years ago,” the SP said.
He said evidence of substance abuse by the accused has also been found near the ZP school here.
After the arrest of Lingade, Magar said robbery was the motive as the former had fled with Rs 70,000 and a laptop.
Tweeting about the double murder, senior BJP leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “Incident of brutal murder of a sadhu and other sevekari in Nanded district is shocking and painful. My heartfelt tributes.”
“It is my request to the state government that all the accused must be immediately arrested and to ensure that they are severely punished,” he added in the tweet.