With the arrest of four more accused in the Abohar murder case on Wednesday, Fazilka police so far have arrested 19 accused.
Seven accused, including liquor baron and Akali leader Shiv Lal Doda, who had filed an anticipatory bail application on Tuesday, are 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 initially registered against 17 people. Mounting public pressure forced the police to add the names of Doda and nephew Amit; later, seven more names were added to the list.
“Parri, Happy and Bhima were arrested on Wednesday while Jaggo surrendered before the police,” said Amar Singh Chahal, DIG, Ferozepur, who heads the four-member SIT probing the brutal murder of 27-year-old Dalit Bhim Sain.
Chahal claimed, “Police hunt is on to nab the seven absconding accused -- Doda, Raja, Wazir, Chhajj, Dhanraj, Rajwinder and Sunny.”
Meanwhile, a large number of supporters of Bhim on Wednesday protested in front of the SSP’s office at Fazilka to demand Doda’s immediate arrest. Doda had applied for anticipatory bail in the court but the police did nothing to apprehend him, the protesters alleged.
Meanwhile, following the assurance by SSP Indermohan Singh Bhatti that Doda would be arrested soon, the protest was lifted.
At the liquor baron’s farmhouse on December 11, Bhim was attacked with sharp-edged weapons by Harry, Doda’s worker.
On Tuesday, people observed a bandh in various parts of Ferozepur and Fazilka districts to demand Doda’s arrest.
Meanwhile, Doda’s family claimed innocence, terming the case as the handiwork of his political opponents to tarnish his image.