Did a chance fight with the Delhi police commissioner's son in a bar result in Jessica Lal murder convict Manu Sharma returning to Tihar Jail on Tuesday?
According to highly-placed police sources, Sharma, who was out on two months' parole since Sep 22, bumped into Police Commissioner Y.S. Dadwal's son in Ashoka Hotel's F Bar late Friday, and had a heated argument over some issue.
Following the spat, Sharma, who was with his friend Sahil Dhingra, owner of apparel exporter Orient Craft, left the bar and moved to LAP bar in the adjacent Samrat Hotel.
However, police reached the spot looking for Manu Sharma and Sahil Dhingra. They picked up Dhingra from the bar but Sharma managed to escape from a rear door. In the confusion, police took business tycoon Samir Thapar, vice-president and managing director of JCT, with them.
Thapar was detained for nearly ten hours before being allowed to go. He said he was planning to sue Delhi Police for his illegal detention.
"I was detained for the wrong reasons. The policemen did not tell me the name of the person who complained against me. They just told me that they were acting on the directions of some senior police officers," Thapar told reporters.
When the news of Sharma's partying broke, the Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government came under severe criticism for recommending his release on parole. He was granted parole Sep 22 on the ground that his mother was seriously ill and he also needed to attend to family business matters.
His parole was extended Oct 22 for 30 more days on Dikshit's recommendation to Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna.
However, Manu Sharma's mother Shakti Rani Saturday looked hale and hearty when she was seen at a public function at the family-run Piccadilly Hotel in Chandigarh, holding a press conference about a women's cricket tournament.
Actor Arjun Rampal, who owns the Samrat Hotel's LAP Bar, Tuesday told the media that Sharma had indeed visited his bar.
"The closed circuit television camera footage has shown that he had come to the pub along with one of the members, Sahil Dhingra," Rampal said, adding that the CCTV footage has been given to the police.
Rampal said he has cancelled Dhingra's membership of the LAP bar, which is for members only.
Before surrendering, Sharma had left a letter for his mother, apologising for putting her through this "ordeal" and assuring her that he had done nothing wrong.