Himachal legislator booked for murder, on the run

Shimla, Dec 22 (IANS) Ahead of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting Saturday to elect Himachal Pradesh's next chief minister, one of the party's newly elected legislators has gone underground after being booked in a murder case.

Ram Kumar Chaudhary, a first-time MLA from Doon constituency in Solan district, is one of the four suspects in the murder of a 24-year-old woman in Panchkula in Haryana Nov 22.

"Police raided his (Chaudhary's) house in Sandholi (near Baddi) and other places today (Saturday) but he managed to evade arrest. He and other accused have not been joining investigations for quite some time," Superintendent of Police S. Arul told IANS.

Arul said arrest warrants against all the four accused, booked under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, were issued Friday.

The murdered woman's father Butti Ram had lodged a police complaint alleging Chaudhary was in touch with his daughter.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court Thursday directed Haryana Police to expedite the probe.

Congress leaders said Chaudhary had not contacted any senior party leader and was unlikely to attend the CLP meeting in the evening.