Murder accused Himachal legislator surrenders


A newly-elected Himachal Pradesh legislator, who was booked in a murder case and had been evading arrest, finally surrenders himself in Panchkula court on Tuesday, officials said.

Ram Kumar Chaudhary, a first-time legislator representing Congress party from Doon constituency in Solan district, is one of the four suspects in the murder of a 24 year old woman in Panchkula, Haryana on Nov 22. Party leaders said that Chaudhary remained absent from the oath taking ceremony of the legislators in the first session of the state assembly in Dharamshala. Haryana police officials said that the legislator was produced in Panchkula court and was sent to a six-day police remand. The murdered woman’s father Butti Ram had lodged a police complaint alleging that Chaudhary was in touch with his daughter. The Punjab and Haryana High Court in December last year directed Haryana police to expedite the probe. Haryana police on Monday had also announced a reward of Rs. 2,00,000 for providing information on the whereabouts of the legislator. His anticipatory bail plea has already been dismissed as withdrawn by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Himachal Chief Minister Mr. Virbhadra Singh admitted that it is an embarrassing position for the Congress party. “It would have been much better if the legislator had surrendered earlier. His arrest will not effect on the stability of the government,” the chief minister told reporters in Dharamshala.

Reacting over the development, opposition leader in Himachal Pradesh Assembly told the reporters that it was due to laxity of state government that Mr. Ram evaded the arrest. He said that there is huge apprehension over the violence against women in the country. Mr. Dhumal said that, Mr. Ram who is elected for H.P. assembly could not attend oath ceremony which signifies a sad development for this hill state as it rarely happened in the past.

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