The court of the additional district and sessions judge, Fazilka, Jatinder Walia, on Monday rejected the anticipatory bail application of Shiv Lal Doda, an Akali leader and liquor baron, in the Abohar murder case.
Counsel for the accused presented pictures and a video recording in a bid to show that Doda was in a New Delhi hotel on December 11, the day Bhim Sain Tonk was brutally murdered at Doda’s farmhouse.
Opposing the application for anticipatory bail, public prosecutor Navdeep Girdhar, who appeared in the court on behalf of the police, argued, “During a scrutiny of the call details of Doda and his nephew Amit, police ascertained that Harry, one of the prime accused, had called up Amit before and after the murder.”
“The records seized from Doda’s farmhouse revealed that Bhim was his employee. Harry was also working for the liquor baron. The weapons used into the crime were recovered from another employee of Doda, while several of the accused among the 26 booked were also found to be his workers,” the public prosecutor further pleaded.
“Police have substantial evidence against Doda in the murder case. So, they need his custodial interrogation to ascertain his role,” pleaded Surinder Tinna, counsel for the victims.
He further said, “Moreover, Bhim’s dying declaration, alleging Doda’s role in the case, is enough to arrest him.” After hearing the arguments, Walia rejected the bail application.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that Doda’s counsel might move the Punjab and Haryana high court to seek pre-arrest bail.
The Fazilka police have so far arrested 22 accused, while four others are absconding. A case under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 148 (rioting with deadly weapons) and 120-B (punishment for criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered initially against 17 persons. Later, following a public outrage over the murder, police added the names of Doda and Amit to the FIR, besides those of seven others.
On December 11, Bhim and his associate, Gurjant Singh, were attacked with sharp-edged weapons at Doda’s farmhouse in Abohar. Bhim, whose limbs were chopped off, later died at a hospital in Amritsar. Gurjant, whose limbs were also severed in the attack, is under treatment.