RATLAM: In a sensational twist to the 'murder' of Himmat Patidar, who is believed to be an RSS worker from Ratlam district, Madhya Pradesh police Monday said the 36-year-old had faked his own killing, apparently to claim the insurance money totalling Rs 20 lakh to repay the debt.
In order to mislead the police, Patidar allegedly killed his farm labourer Madan Malviya (32) to pass it off as his own 'murder', and burnt his face to conceal the identity.
Patidar is alive and is on the run, a senior police officer said.
Police have established the identity of the deceased Malviya through DNA test, Ratlam Superintendent of Police Gaurav Tiwari told reporters in a press conference.
The body, initially claimed to be that of Patidar, with the throat slit, was found in his field at Kamed village in Ratlam district on January 23.
Within five days of recovery of the body, police have cracked the case and nailed the suspected role of Patidar.
The SP clarified that though Patidar used to attend RSS 'shakhas', he was not holding any post in the BJP's parent organisation.
Patidar's brother Sanjay Patidar is said to be associated with the RSS.
He is the district RSS music band chief.
It was earlier reported that Patidar was a former Karyawah (secretary) of Shivpur mandal.
The killing had created a sensation in the Congress-ruled state.
"During the probe, police found out that Madan Malviya, who used to work on Patidar's farm, had been missing. We also noticed that the physical build of the corpse resembled with Malviya," the SP said.
He said police initially believed that Malviya had 'killed' Patidar, but got suspicious after they found a diary near the dead body containing details like Patidar's insurance policy number, his fixed deposits, bank pin number etc.
Police also found a mobile phone handset with the body, but found out that all call-related data was deleted.
"This prompted us to order DNA test of the victim," the SP said, adding that the test report revealed that the victim was not Patidar but Malviya," the SP said.
Throwing light on the course of investigation that led the police to nail Patidar's role, Tiwari said as the DNA of the deceased didn't match with Patidar's father, police compared it with relatives of deceased Malviya which established his identity.
Suggesting that Patidar's planning was meticulous but for a flaw, the SP said the accused dressed the victim with his own clothes after killing him but didn't change his under-pant, an oversight that revealed the true identity of the deceased.
"The accused failed to change the deceased's underwear with his own which ultimately led to the identification of Malviya by his wife," the senior police officer said.
He said Patidar allegedly burnt down the face of the victim to conceal his identity, to misled the police.
"After committing the crime, Patidar planted his own belongings near the body to make it appear that it was his body," the SP said.
When asked about the probable motive behind the crime, the SP said Patidar could have hatched the conspiracy to fake his own killing to claim the insurance sum totalling Rs 20 lakh to repay his loan.
"Patidar had got himself insured through the State Bank of India for Rs 20 lakh sometime back, and made his wife his nominee. He had taken some loan. He was also into money lending," the SP said, adding that he might have plotted the crime to claim the insurance money to repay his debt.
Police have announced a reward of Rs 10,000 for any information on whereabouts of Patidar, the SP added.
Police are also probing whether Patidar's kin were involved in the crime, as it was his father who had informed them about his missing son.
The SP said Patidar's father had identified the body, whose face was burnt, as it was clad in the cloths wore by his son, and with the help of other belongings.
Further investigation is underway, the officer said.