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|May 03, 1999||
Former minister's family absconding after model's murder
Sunil Jha in New Delhi
Congress leader and former Union minister of state for food and civil supplies Venod Sharma, whose son Manu Sharma is the main accused in the killing of model Jessica Lal, and his entire family are absconding.
The Delhi police, who have failed to make any headway in the case, said yesterday that the bullet which had claimed the life of Jessica was fired by Manu Sharma from his .22 pistol. The 34-year-old model was shot from point-blank range at Tamarind Court restaurant in south Delhi on Friday by Manu Sharma who was reportedly refused a drink.
Delhi Police Commissioner V N Singh said, ''Though the search for Manu Sharma alias Siddharth Vashist is on, no clue has been found about his whereabouts. We want to arrest Manu first. Once we track him down, things would start becoming clear,'' he said.
Asked about the possible involvement of a central minister's close relatives, the commissioner said, ''We are concentrating on Manu at present.''
Joint Police Commissioner (southern range) Amod Kanth said that the special Delhi police team, which had been despatched to Chandigarh to locate Venod Sharma's son, was still there.
''The entire family, including Vinod Sharma's wife and daughter, appears to be missing,'' he said.
The police was yet to talk to the daughter of Bina Ramani, the owner of the south Delhi restaurant where the model was killed. Ramani, however, has told the police that the restaurant was not open at the time of the incident and merely a private party was going on.
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