The public prosecutor, who appeared on behalf of Fazilka police in a Fazilka court on Saturday at the hearing of the anticipatory bail application filed by Akali leader and liquor baron Shiv Lal Doda claimed that the police had substantial evidence against Doda in the murder of the Dalit youth.
The court of additional district and sessions judge Jatender Walia fixed January 2 for pronouncing the verdict on the bail application.
“In view of the proof against him, the police need Doda’s custodial interrogation to ascertain his role in the murder,” pleaded the public prosecutor.
Surinder Tinna, counsel for the victims, opposed Doda’s anticipatory bail, claiming that the dying statement by Bhim Sain alleging Doda’s role in the case, given before his cousin Akash is enough to arrest Doda.
Meanwhile, Doda’s counsel claimed that the baron was innocent and it the handiwork of his political opponents to tarnish his image.
Fazilka Police have so far arrested 21 accused while five, including Doda, are still absconding.
A case under Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 148 (armed riot), and 120-B (punishment for criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code was registered initially against 17 people, while mounting public pressure forced police to add the names of Doda and Amit; later, seven more who were found involved in the crime were also named.
At the liquor baron’s farmhouse on December 11 morning, Bhim was attacked with sharp-edged weapons, and Harry, one of Doda’s workers, was alleged to be the culprit. Later, Bhim died at a hospital in Amritsar. His associate, Gurjant Singh, whose limbs were also severed at the farmhouse, is under treatment.