'Hunter' goes missing, Gypsy seized

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  • Published 7.06.05

New Delhi, June 7: A police team today landed at Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi’s Vasant Vihar residence in south Delhi and seized a blue Maruti Gypsy, claiming it is the vehicle in which the carcasses of an endangered black buck and two rabbits were found on June 3.

On Friday night, the former cricket captain, with an alleged hunting party of seven, was stopped by Jhajjar police for a check near Dadanpur village in Haryana. They were travelling in a convoy of two cars, one of which was the Gypsy (DL 1VA 4379).

The police team that came to Pataudi’s home in the posh south Delhi locality comprised Haryana and Delhi police personnel.

Haryana sub-inspector Ajmer Singh, the investigating officer in the case, said: “We had come here to look for the vehicle and have recovered it.”

The five-policeman team spent about half an hour at the Pataudi residence before taking away the car for evidence in the case.

As Pataudi and others have been booked under various sections of the Wildlife Act for cognisable and bailable offences, raids can be conducted on their premises without warrants.

Haryana police also served notices on Pataudi and six others “under Section 160 of the CrPC seeking their presence before the station house officer of Jhajjar police” by 5 pm today, Jhajjar superintendent of police Hanief Qureshi said.

But the former cricketer, also known as Tiger to his fans, and the rest failed to show up. The deadline has now been extended to June 10. “After this, police will seek their arrest,” Qureshi said. “They should cooperate with the police in the investigations.”

Asked where Pataudi was, his lawyer Shyam Sunder Goel said he had spoken to him a few times but did not have any clue of his client’s whereabouts.

A gun, a rifle and some live cartridges were found in the car with the three carcasses.

One of the eight named in the FIR, Madan Singh, was arrested today and his statement recorded. He has been remanded in police custody for a day and was to be presented in court this afternoon.

Besides Pataudi, the others named in the FIR are the managing director of a Delhi firm, Shashi Singh, Dayal Singh, Shaheed Ahmed, Dayasuddin ? all residents of Delhi ?Mohammad Ayub Khan of Gurgaon and Balwan Singh, a resident of Orangpur village in Jhajjar district.

Goel said he had moved an anticipatory bail application for Shashi Singh and the court has fixed June 9 for the hearing. “It is a cognisable offence and there can be an arrest without warrant. Let us see what the stand of the court is.”

He refused to comment on what Pataudi’s version of the events were but said the police were making contradictory statements. “Madan Singh has in his disclosure statement said it was Pataudi who fired the shot. However, in the post-mortem report, there is no mention of a bullet being found.”

The lawyer added that the authorities will first have to establish the cause of death.

Qureshi said the carcasses had been buried in a ground close to the veterinary hospital at Jhajjar. The burial was conducted under the supervision of a three-member committee of a wildlife inspector, a veterinary surgeon and a tehsildar. A videography was also done of the burial.