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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Kotkhai custodial death: Court dismisses 3 applications

Statements of six prosecution witnesses were recorded in the CBI court

chandigarh Updated: Oct 09, 2019 22:44 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh

The special court of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has dismissed the bail applications filed by three of the nine accused in the Kotkhai custodial death case, in which Suraj, an accused in the ‘Gudiya rape and murder’ case died in police custody.

The application was filed by former Kotkhai station house officer (SHO) Rajinder Singh, head constable Rafee Mohammed and constable Ranjeeta Steta.

Apart from this, statements of six prosecution witnesses were recorded in the CBI court.


Prosecution witness Dr H V Acharya, assistant director, Forensic Science Laboratory, Gujrat, told the court that she had done polygraph BEOS tests and Narco test on five subjects––Ashish Chauhan, Rajinder Singh, Lokjan, Deepak and Subhash Singh––after their consent. The polygraph test was done by HR Shah.

Acharya and Shah prepared a comprehensive forensic psychological report comprising findings of three reports.

Apprising the court of the conclusion of the reports, the doctor stated that the role of the five subjects in the ‘Gudiya rape and murder’case was not observed in their polygraph, Narco and BEOS tests.

Also, the motive of rape and murder of the girl was not established and further, the role of Rajinder in killing Suraj during the police custody was also not observed in Narco and BEOS test.

It was concluded that ‘without any substantial evidence, the local police took harsh steps during interrogation against the five subjects.’

However, ‘the results of tests should be corroborated with the available evidence/witness for further investigation’ it mentioned.

Another prosecution witness Ashish Chauhan was examined. Chauhan is one of the six accused, who were arrested by the police in the ‘Gudiya rape-murder case’, but after one of the accused Suraj died in the police custody, all were made prosecution witnesses by the CBI in the ‘Kotkhai custodial death
case.’ He deposed before the court that on July 9, 2017, SHO Singh along with two others picked him from his house and took him to Bankufer Rest house for interrogation, thereafter accused Manoj Joshi along with two constables took him to Police post Chaila and kept him there till July 10, 2017.

“On July 11, 2017, they started torturing me. ZH Zaidi gave me bottle of neat whisky and forcibly made me drink. As a result, I started vomiting. He had also given me cannabis and forcibly asked me to smoke the same. ZH Zaidi   had also taken two puffs of the same,” he told the court. He said ZH Zaidi , Bhajan Devi Negi, Rattan Negi, PSO Sushil, PSO Sunil of accused Manoj Joshi tortured him by tying him with a rope, beating him with sticks and giving electric shocks.

He said he injured his backbone and fell unconscious. Rajinder, Subhash, Lokjan, Deepu, Suran were also taken in custody apart from Ishan and Happy.

Chauhan said, On July 12, he was again tortured and on July 13, at around midnight the accused took his signatures and told him that an FIR has been registered.

“On July 15, my police custody remand was taken from Theog court and I was kept in a lockup at Kotkhai police station,” he said. Apart from these two, statements of prosecution witness Dr Ashwani Sood, a radiologist with the DDU Zonal Hospital, Shimla; Pritam Chand, Amar Singh Verma, senior assistant, state police HQ, Shimla and constable Ajay Kumar were cross-examined. Accused, ZH Zaidi who was posted as inspector general of police, DW Negi posted as superintendent of police and Manoj Joshi posted as deputy superintendent of police .