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Katara ‘poison’

New Delhi, July 12: Barely a fortnight before his testimony, a key witness in the Nitish Katara murder case today admitted himself into a hospital, claiming he had been poisoned.

Ajay Katara was the last person who saw the murdered man alive, and was to depose in a Delhi trial court as a prosecution witness on July 27.

He has in the past told the court he feared for his life as the main accused — Vikas Yadav — is the son of Uttar Pradesh politician D.P. Yadav. Police officials said Ajay is not related to Nitish.

He was discharged this evening. “It was a clear case of food poisoning,” said Dr Rajesh Bhajaria, the doctor at the Ghaziabad hospital who attended to Ajay.

“The doctors have confirmed our doubts about poisoning,” superintendent of police (Ghaziabad) Vijay Bhushan said.

Ajay has told the police that five unknown men called him out to a dhaba last night where they had dinner together. He has named two.

“He claims they told him they could give him some information on the Katara case. He now thinks those men poisoned him,” Bhushan said.

Nitish Katara was murdered in February 2002, allegedly by Vikas and his cousin Vishal, over his relationship with their sister Bharti Yadav. But Bharti shocked the prosecution by declaring that “Nitish was just a friend, nothing more”.

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