Murder accused Himachal legislator surrenders

Shimla/Panchkula, Jan 8 (IANS) A newly-elected Himachal Pradesh Congress legislator, who had been evading arrest after being booked for murder, Tuesday finally surrendered in a Panchkula court.

Ram Kumar Chaudhary, a first-time legislator from Doon constituency in Solan district, is one of the four suspects in the murder of a 24-year-old woman in Panchkula in Haryana Nov 22.

Party leaders said Chaudhary remained absent from the oath taking ceremony of the legislators in the first session of the state assembly in Dharamsala.

Haryana Police said the legislator was produced in a Panchkula court and 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 directed Haryana Police to expedite the probe.

The police Monday announced a reward of Rs.200,000 for providing information on the whereabouts of the legislator.

His anticipatory bail plea had been dismissed as withdrawn by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Himachal Chief Minister Virbhdra Singh admitted that it was an embarrassing position for the Congress.

"It would have been much better if the legislator had surrendered earlier. His arrest will have no affect on the stability of the government," he told reporters in Dharamsala.


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