24 hours after arrest, brother of Doon MLA released on bail

Less than 24 hours after his arrest, a local court in Panchkula released Harbajan Chaudhary, brother of Doon MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary, on bail, even as police continued searches in Baddi on Sunday to hunt for the absconding MLA and his three other accomplices in the case.

A case has been registered against MLA's brothers Harbajan Chaudhary and Chaudhary Madan Lalat in Sector 5 police station for harboring the accused. Police say Harbajan has admitted to giving Rs 50,000 in cash to the Doon MLA to help him abscond. Assistant Commissioner of police (Panchkula) Virendar Singh said they have stepped up efforts to arrest Ram Kumar.

Panchkula police arrested Harbhajan Chaudhary late on saturday night.

Superintendent of Police (Baddi), Arul Kumar said that searches continued at the houses of Ram Kumar Chaudhary and other accused in the case Sunday but turned up nothing, He said that other family members of the accused had also gone into hiding.

Kumar said that police had however picked up the father of accused, Lajja Ram, in the case, but he has been let out after being questioned about the whereabouts of the MLA. "We questioned the father, but we didn't find anything against him and he has been let out," said SP Baddi.

ACP Virendar Singh said that they are still hunting down Madan Lal, who is the chairman of Baddi Municipal council. Police have stepped up searches ahead of the oath taking ceremony of newly elected MLAs in Himachal on January 8. Police said that the raids have been going on at the residences of Ram Kumar's other accomplices in the case and a look out notice has already been issued against the MLA. Police raids were also conducted at the business establishments of the family.

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