Even as investigators are running from pillar to post to arrest Swami Pratibhanand alias Mahendranath, the absconding accused and an alleged “key link” in the murder of realtor Deepak Bhardwaj, the family of the victim has been asked not to move out of the Capital without seeking the permission of the police, sources said on Sunday.

The family members, including the slain businessman’s estranged wife Ramesh Kumari and their two sons, have already been questioned in connection with the murder.

Some details have also emerged about the trail of the godman, whose pictures were released by the police on Saturday. It is learnt that the Swami – who is accused of giving the contract to kill Mr. Bhardwaj to his former employee Purushottam – had left Delhi two days before the murder.

He spent three days in Hardiwar from where he headed to Indore where he spent four days before going underground. Both Haridwar and Indore feature in the list of several places where police teams have conducted raids in a bid to arrest the elusive Swami. However, these teams returned empty handed. Some people questioned and/or detained had also failed to provide concrete details about his location or more possible hideouts, said a source.

It is also learnt that Pratibhanand, against whom the police have already issued a lookout circular, had applied for a passport six months ago. Some documents regarding this have been purportedly seized at Haridwar.

Failing to arrest him, the police had sought public help and had even issued a reward on providing information about him.

The efforts of the investigators to determine the exact conspiracy behind the murder and the involvement, if any, of other conspirators have reached an dead end due to the delay in the arrest of the Swami.

More In: Delhi