15 May 2006 # IANS
New Delhi: One of the conspirators behind the murder of Krishnanand Rai, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Uttar Pradesh, has been arrested after a chase of almost six months, Delhi Police said Monday.
Sanjeev Maheshwari, nabbed Sunday, confessed during interrogation Monday that the he had carried out the murder at the behest of Mau legislator Mukhtar Ansari, police said.
Maheshwari, 31, also confessed that he was paid a sum of Rs.100,000 to carry out the crime.
"These are the confessions made by the accused and we are verifying the information given. He (Maheshwari) claims to be very close to Mukhtar Ansari," said Ajay Kumar, deputy commissioner of Special Cell.
He said that police had been searching for Maheshwari and on Sunday they came to know that we would visit the Siraspur area of west Delhi.
Police recovered a revolver and six live cartridges from him.
Maheshwari, along with his six accomplices, had killed Rai, the legislator from Mohammadabad, police said.
The murder took place Nov 29, 2005 at Baswania, 100 km from Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh.
Kumar said Maheshwari was also involved in the killing of another BJP legislator Brahma Diwedi in Farukhhabad city in February 1997. He had also conspired and killed Bhartendu Handa, a Congress leader from Haridwar in April 1997.
"He has been involved in a number of political killings and there are over a dozen cases of murder, kidnapping and loot on him," said Kumar.
The official added that Maheshwari's gang was active in Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar even as the police of these states had collectively announced a reward of Rs.25,000 on him.
Police are were carrying out raids at several places in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh to nab other members of the gang.
"We have informed the Uttar Pradesh police about his arrest and a team would soon come to take him for further questioning," said Kumar.