Opposition demand President’s rule in Himachal after Kotkhai violence | cities | Hindustan Times
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Opposition demand President’s rule in Himachal after Kotkhai violence

Congress leader and former minister Vijai Singh Mankotia, who has raised banner of revolt against his own government, has also joined the chorus for President’s rule

cities Updated: Jul 19, 2017 23:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Shimla
Bharatiya Janata Party,BJP,Kotkhai
A mob sets a blaze a police vehicle in Kotkhai, around 62 km from Shimla on July 19, 2017. (AFP)

As violence spread in Kotkhai town of Shimla district after an accused in the murder and gangrape of a 16-year-old girl died in police custody, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has demanded the center to immediately impose president’s rule in Himachal Pradesh

A BJP delegation comprising Union Health Minister JP Nadda and all the four MP’s from Himachal Shanta Kumar, Anurag Thakur, Virender Kashyap and Ram Swaroop Sharma on Wednesday met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and submitted a memorandum in this regard.

Veteran leader and former union minister Shanta Kumar said that there was a complete breakdown of the law and order situation in Himachal and Congress-led state government was responsible for that.

“The law enforcing agencies failed to perform their duty in rape and murder of innocent girl. Instead of arresting the culprits, the police are threatening the protestors with strict action,” alleged Shanta.

“We are strongly for President’s rule in Himachal and the recent happenings are enough ground to dismiss the Congress rule,” said Shanta.

Hamirpur MP Anurag Thakur alleged that state government was trying to protect the real culprits in the case and the police investigation was just an eye-wash.

“Now, murder of one of the accused, who had agreed to turn a prosecution witness, has made things more complex,” said Anurag

“The public anger is escalating and the violence in Kotkhai is a reflection of that. The center should intervene immediately to calm down the situation and President’s rule is the only way,” he added.

Expressing his concerns, Shimla MP Virender Kashyap said that the number of heinous crimes has shot up in otherwise peaceful state of Himachal under Congress regime.

“No one is safe; particularly, women and girls are insecure. This Congress government should be dismissed with immediate effect,” he demanded.

Mankotia joins the chores

Congress leader and former minister Vijai Singh Mankotia, who has raised banner of revolt against his own government, has also joined the chorus for President’s rule.

“Virbhadra Singh is so engrossed in corruption cases pending against him in courts that he is a chief minister and has to run a state,” said Mankotia.

“Law and order situation in Himachal has reached the lowest ebb. First murder of a forest guard and now Gudiya rape and murder case is proof of it. Virbhadra should be removed from CM post immediately and President’s rule should be imposed,” he added.

Probe ordered into custodial death of accused: Virbhadra

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that the government has ordered a probe into death of an accused in Gudiya rape and murder case, in police custody.

“It is learnt that his prime accused in the case thrashed the deceased Suraj, who had agreed to turn a prosecution witness, in the police lock-up and killed him,” said Virbhadra while speaking to media persons at Padhar in Mandi district. He said that the cops on duty at Kotkhai police station have been put under suspension.

He reiterated that criminals involved in rape and murder of Gudiya will be given strictest punishment .

“The government had earlier formed Special Investigation team and later, I personally wrote a letter to Prime Minister seeking a CBI probe into the case. What more I could have done? He asked.

Blaming the opposition BJP of politicizing the matter, Virbhadra Singh also charged the media of flaring up the issue.

Mishandling of probe led to public outrage: Sukhu

Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) chief Sukhvinder Sukhu said that the Congress party, from day one, has been demanded an impartial probe into the case.

“There were some lapses in the police investigation and government should have looked into it seriously,” he said.

Sukhu also said that the state Congress’s Path Yatra, which began on Tuesday to highlight the achievements of the present government, has been cancelled given the situation prevailing in the state.

First Published: Jul 19, 2017 23:11 IST