The Nashik Rural police on Thursday arrested all the four accused wanted in connection with the murder of the Afghan Sufi saint, Khwaja Sayyed Zarif Chishti, 35, in Yeola on July 5.
The police have confirmed that the murder was masterminded by Chishti’s aide, who wanted to usurp his property. Chishti was shot in the head.
The four accused, including his aide and his driver, had been on the run. The first break in the investigation came on July 6, when Chishti’s car was in the Karkhana Road area in Sangamner.
Police teams fanned out in the area and got several leads, based on which they traced Chishti’s aide, Gaffar Ahmed Khan, back to Yeola and picked him up for inquiries.
The driver, Ravindra Tore, and the other two accused, Ganesh Jhinjad and Pawan Aher, were then questioned, after which the entire plot came spilling out.
As Chishti could not own any properties in India due to his foreigner status, he had bought his car as well as several plots of land in Nashik in Khan’s name.
Khan, however, was not happy with the arrangement as he felt that the compensation given to him was less than he deserved, the police said, adding that Khan planned Chishti’s murder as all the property was in his name. Jhinjad and Aher procured a firearm for him.
Superintendent of Police Sachin Patil said that the duo told Chishti that they needed his services to perform religious rituals at a plot of land in Chinchodi MIDC and called him there. Chishti reached the spot, following which he was shot.