His passion for horses landed lifer Naresh Godara, who hails from Sirsa district, in police net after 16 years. Godara (42) was arrested by the Haryana Police from popular Pushkar horses’ mela in Rajasthan on Sunday.
In his college days, Godara with his friends Vikas Kukana and Rajesh Thakar had murdered one Shiv Dutt (Shiva) at government college, Sirsa, in 1996 following an enmity over presidentship.
The trio was arrested and sentenced to life. Naresh came out on parole in 1998 but did not return and remained elusive as he took shelter in different hideouts in Haryana and Rajasthan. He was declared a proclaimed offender and police also announced a prize of Rs 25,000 reward on his head.
As per the police, they knew about Godara’s passion for firearms and horses and were looking for an opportunity to nab him at the popular Pushkar mela. Acting on a tip-off that he was coming to purchase a horse, the police caught him on Sunday.
However, brother of convict Naresh Godara, Hanuman Godara, a native of Kheonwali village, had claimed through a social networking site that his brother had surrendered before police and that he was not arrested.
Contradicting his statement, Sirsa superintendent of police Mitesh Jain said owing to efforts of the Haryana Police the convict could be arrested and that he did not surrender. The police are on their way to bring him to Sirsa, he added.
Naresh Godara continued to evade police despite the fact that he was active on social networking site, Facebook, and had also posted his photographs sitting on a horse. Two other convicts in the murder case, Vikas Kukana and Rajesh Thakar had completed their life term, said Sirsa DSP Virender Singh.