The family of 27-year-old Bhim Tonk, a dalit, who was brutally murdered in Abohar on December 11, moved an application in a court here on Monday to seek a narco analysis test of Akali sympathiser and liquor baron Shiv Lal Doda, the prime accused in the crime, his nephew Amit and Harinder Singh alias Harry besides others.
The court adjourned the matter for February 15. Kaushalya Devi and Kapoor Chand, parents of Bhim, and Ranjit Singh, brother of Gurjant Singh, who sustained serious injuries during the attack on Bhim, in a joint application filed before the court of judicial magistrate (first class) Jagjit Singh, sought narco test of all the accused booked by the police. Meanwhile, Doda was sent to judicial remand till February 10.
In the narco analysis test, the subject’s imagination is neutralised by making him semi-conscious. In this state, it becomes difficult for him to lie and his answers are restricted to the facts he is already aware of.
Earlier, the Fazilka police had also filed an application in the court seeking permission for a polygraph test of Doda, Amit and Harry. The court is yet to take a decision on the application.
Doda surrendered 10 days ago at the office of Fazilka senior superintendent of police (SSP) Indermohan Bhatti after the Punjab and Haryana high court denied him anticipatory bail on January 21.
Doda’s anticipatory bail was first rejected by Fazilka additional district and sessions judge Jatinder Walia, following which he had moved the high court.
During arguments in the Fazilka court, Doda’s counsel had presented photographs and a video showing him in a Delhi hotel on December 11, the day Bhim was murdered at his farmhouse in Abohar.
Opposing the anticipatory bail application, public prosecutor Navdeep Girdhar had argued: “The call details of Doda and his nephew, Amit, suggest that prime accused Harry had called up Amit before and after the murder. The records seized from Doda’s farmhouse reveal that Bhim was his employee and Harry also worked for the liquor baron. The murder weapons were recovered from another employee of Doda, while several accused among the 26 booked were also found to be his workers.”
Surinder Tinna, counsel for the victim families, said the police had substantial evidence against Doda and needed his custody to ascertain his role in the crime. “Moreover, Bhim’s dying declaration blaming Doda is enough to arrest him,” he said. After the arguments, Doda’s application was rejected.
The Fazilka police have, so far, arrested 23 accused, while three are on the run. 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 (IPC) was registered against 17 people, initially. Later, following public outrage, police were forced to add the names of Doda, Amit and seven others to the FIR (first information report).
On December 11, 2015, Bhim and his associate, Gurjant Singh, were attacked with sharp-edged weapons at Doda’s farmhouse. Bhim, whose limbs were chopped off, died later at a hospital in Amritsar. Gurjant, whose limbs were also severed, is under treatment.
Before surrender, Doda had talked to the media, claiming innocence. “I am ready to undergo the lie-detector and narco analysis tests to prove that neither I nor my family has anything to do with the murder of Bhim,” he had said.