Nashik : A 35-year-old Sufi spiritual leader hailing from Afghanistan was shot dead by a group of four unidentified persons in Yeola town of Maharashtra’s Nashik district on Tuesday, police said. Nashik police have detained a suspect and a hunt is on to nab the other accused including his driver.
The victim, identified as Khwaja Sayyad Ahmed Zarif Chishti, who was popularly known as ‘Sufi Baba’ in Yeola, an official said. A possible motive behind the murder was not immediately known. However, Nashik Rural Police Superintendent Sachin Patil told reporters that prima facie the incident took place due to a financial dispute of property issues.
On Tuesday, Sufi Baba and the accused persons had gone to Yeola from Vavi, where he used to live. After having lunch together, they went to the MIDC (Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation) area to perform worship at an open plot they were trying to buy. One of the accused persons pulled a firearm and fired a round at Sufi Baba’s head, following which he died, Patil said.
Afghan-origin Sufi Baba was a refugee from Pakistan who came to India four years ago and the Government of India had given him a refugee pass and extension of two years to stay in the country, an official said. The spiritual leader Sufi Baba stayed in Delhi, Karnataka and later in Nashik district.
Sources said that being a foreign national, he was not able to purchase a property in his name and hence he used to buy properties in his follower’s names.