Khwaja Ahmad Zarif Chishti was shot dead allegedly by a group of four unidentified persons in Yeola town here in Maharashtra on Tuesday, Nashik Rural Police Superintendent Sachin Patil told reporters, adding that prima facie the incident took place due to a financial dispute of property issues.
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Chishti, popularly known as ‘Sufi Baba’ in Yeola, was a refugee from Pakistan. He came to India four years ago and the Government of India had given him a refugee pass and an extension of two years to stay in the country, another official said.
The police are also looking at other angles in the case, Patil said.
Elaborating on sources of income of the deceased, the official said Chishti used to get donations from various people, as he was spiritual leader and was also involved in providing spiritual guidance.
He also had his YouTube channel, which has followers in India and abroad. He was also getting an income from the channel, the official said.
The official said “there are three main accused in the case and the role of one more person is being investigated.” On Tuesday, Chishti and the accused persons had gone to Yeola town from Vavi, where he used to live, and performed a prayer, he said.
After having lunch together, they went to the MIDC (Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation) area to perform another worship at an open plot as they were trying to buy it, he said.
While they were sitting in a vehicle after the worship, one of the accused pulled a firearm and fired a round in Chishti’s head, Patil said.
The accused persons also include Chishti’s driver, he said.
Hunt was on for the accused persons, the official added.