Vikram Singh Puar, the 27-year-old son of the deceased “king” of the former Dewas royals in Madhya Pradesh, surrendered on Wednesday after being on the run for more than a year for his suspected role in a murder.
He has been accused of leading a fatal clash with 12 armed supporters over a land dispute in Raghogarh village, about 40km from Dewas.
Puar and his gang allegedly tried to take away the wheat harvest of a farmer, Pratap Lodhi, on March 19, 2015. Lodhi and his family members resisted and, in the ensuing clash with firearms and lathis, the farmer was gravely wounded. He died on March 22.
The young former royal was on the run since then and a special court granted him anticipatory bail for 15 days in June 2016 as his father, former BJP minister Tukojirao Puar, was in his death bed.
His bail application was approved so that he could perform last rites of his father who died of brain haemorrhage on June 19. A day later, Puar was crowned “King of Dewas” at a private ceremony in the family’s palace.
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, home minister Babulal Gaur and Congress leader Digvijaya Singh had attended the senior Puar’s funeral.
The new “king”, however, escaped and remained in hiding until he surrendered before a judicial magistrate on Wednesday.
Dewas police arrested Puar at a local hospital where he was admitted earlier in the day. The magistrate sent him to judicial custody till January 7.
Superintendent of police Shashikant Shukla said Puar’s police remand was not sought because “there was nothing to recover from him”.
But several questions remained unanswered: Where was the fugitive hiding? What was he doing? Who was he with? Who all helped him helped him during the period?
A murder charge has been registered at Barotha police station in Dewas after the farmer’s death. But a court acquitted 12 of the 13 accused last December, making the case weak against Puar, legal experts said.