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CBI ‘solves’ Kotkhai case with new arrest

The CBI made the arrest after collecting around 150 blood samples of locals. The investigative agency took up the case on July 22 last year on recommendation of the high court.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2018 23:26 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Shimla/New Delhi
The Kothkai case pertains to the rape and murder of a class 10 girl whose body was recovered from Halaila forest in Shimla district’s Kothkai on July 6, 2017, two days after she was reported missing.(Reuters )

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday said it has solved the Kotkhai rape and murder case with the arrest of a person, who was not among the six accused held last year by the local police.

“We have arrested one local in connection with the ‘Gudiya’ rape and murder case,” CBI spokesperson RK Gaur said and added that the accused was taken to Delhi for further interrogation.

The probe agency, however, refused to divulge the identity of the accused, stating that the probe into the case was still underway and was being monitored by Himachal high court.

“The accused was zeroed-in on with the help of forensic analysis of the crime spot. Investigators were looking for him for quite some time. Finally, he was located and arrested last (Friday) night. He was produced before the court, which has remanded him to CBI’s custody till April 25,” a CBI official familiar with the matter said.

The official said the accused had a prior criminal history and had gone missing after committing the crime.

The CBI had taken up the case on July 22 last and was recently pulled up by the Himachal high court for the “delay” in completing the probe.

The probe agency had collected around 150 blood samples of locals as part of its investigation and informed the court on March 29 that it was close to cracking the case.

The case pertains to the rape and murder of a Class 10 girl whose body was recovered from Halaila forest in Kotkhai on July 6, two days after she was reported missing. A special investigation team (SIT) headed by the then inspector general (IG) southern range S Zahur Zaidi was setup to probe the case.

On July 12, the SIT had arrested six people and announced that the case had been solved. However, locals staged violent protests saying that the real culprits had not been arrested. The stir prompted the state government to hand over the case to the CBI. However, before the CBI could start the investigation, an accused Suraj (a Nepalese) died in the police custody, triggering more protests.

On August 29, the CBI arrested IG Zaidi and seven other policemen in the custodial death case. The then Shimla superintended of police DW Negi was arrested on September 16 in the same case.

In December of last year, the CBI had announced a reward of₹10 lakh for providing credible information about the accused.

The remaining five people who were arrested by Himachal Police initially are currently out on bail.

First Published: Apr 14, 2018 20:59 IST