Murder accused takes oath as Himachal legislator

Shimla, Jan 24 (IANS) Congress legislator Ram Kumar Chaudhary, who faces murder charges, Thursday took oath in the Himachal Pradesh assembly after being brought from a jail in Haryana.

Chaudhary, sworn in the chamber of Speaker Brij Bihari Lal Butail, has been booked for murder by Haryana Police.

He was brought to Shimla, where a large number of his supporters were assembled, from Ambala jail under heavy security cover.

He is one of four suspects in the murder of a 24-year-old woman in Panchkula in Haryana Nov 22.

"It's a political conspiracy by my political rivals. I am innocent," Chaudhary told reporters after taking oath.

Asked about his confession, he said: "It's a police theory. I have full faith in the judiciary. I have never confessed that I committed the crime."

Ruling out the possibility of quitting the house in the wake of the J.S. Verma Committee report that legislators involved in woman-related crime should morally resign, he said he would come out clean.

"I will continue to work as a legislator. Even people are contesting elections from behind the bars," he said. "I have just submitted a list of his priorities as a legislator to the speaker."

After evading arrest, Chaudhary surrendered before a Panchkula court Jan 8, the day other legislators took oath.

Chaudhary is a first-time legislator from Doon in Solan district. He is the son of four-time Congress legislator Lajja Ram.

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