Gudiya rape-murder case: Will explore what can we do: Himachal CM
Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur, on Friday, said he has asked the chief secretary and director general of police (DGP) to explore all possibilities regarding action to be taken on the government’s part in the Kotkhai rape and murder case. Gudiya’s father, on Thursday, had met the CM to express doubts and disappointment in the probe of the case. The CM was speaking to the media on the sidelines of 25th convocation of Himachal Pradesh University (HPU), Shimla.
The case is back in focus after two forensic experts from a Gandhinagar lab testified in court that there was possibility of more than one person being involved in the crime. The rape victim’s father, who met the chief minister on Thursday, had raised doubts on the probe conducted by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The agency has arrested a woodcutter in the case.
In his representation to the CM, the victim’s father alleged that the CBI, during its course of investigation, time and again had only held one person responsible for the crime.
“CBI also claimed that forensic evidences supported the probe. But forensic expert opined something else, which casts doubt that the probe was being influenced from the beginning,” he had alleged.
Meanwhile, Thakur said it would not be appropriate to comment in a case that is pending in court. “The victim’s family met me. They are not satisfied with the probe. I understand their pain. So, I have forwarded the representation submitted by them to the chief secretary and the DGP to explore all that can be done and how we could proceed in this matter,” he said.
On July 4, 2017, a 16-year-old girl in the Kotkhai area of Shimla went missing on her way back home. Her body was found in the woods in Bankufar, close to Halaila village, two days later. The post-mortem confirmed rape and a case was registered. The incident triggered widespread protests across the state, with an infuriated public resorting to road blockades and an angry mob torching a police station in Kotkhai. 10 days after the crime, a special investigation team (SIT) led by IGP Zaidi had arrested six persons on suspicion.
One of the suspects, Suraj Singh, was found dead in custody at the Kotkhai police station on July 18. CBI had later arrested the entire SIT and then superintendent of police Shimla, DW Negi for the custodial death. Recently, the state government reinstated Zaidi, Negi and deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Manoj Joshi.