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Kotkhai gangrape-murder: Left activists lay siege to Theog as BJP backs out

We decided to suspend the stir since the Himachal Pradesh high court ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take over the probe,” said Rakesh Verma, former BJP legislator from Theogh

india Updated: Jul 23, 2017 14:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Shimla
Kotkhai gangrape-murder,Left activists,Theog
CPM activists blocking traffic to protest the gangrape and murder of a Kotkhai girl, at Theog, on Saturday. (Deepak Sansta/HT)

Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday called off a road blockade it planned at Theogh, 45 km from Shimla, while the Left-backed “Gudiya Nyay Manch” went ahead with a “symbolic chakka jam”.

“We decided to suspend the stir since the Himachal Pradesh high court ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take over the probe,” said Rakesh Verma, former BJP legislator from Theogh.

“It has been learnt from media that chief minister Virbhadra Singh's wife had offered a cheque for Rs 25,000 to the victim’s family,” he added. Verma also held the government responsible for violence that erupted in Kotkhai after the custodial death of Suraj Singh, a Nepalese national, who was one of the six accused in the Kotkhai gangrape and murder case.

“Had the police informed the administration well in time about the custodial death, it could have sent reinforcements that could have avoided the situation,” he said. Verma alleged that the state government was protecting the culprits and framing innocent people. “Government is protecting the influential, while police have indicted innocents,” he added.

On other hand, Left-backed bodies staged a “chakka jam” in Theogh Bazar. Traffic on the main road came to a halt for an hour, but the protesters allowed the movement of emergency vehicles. Communist Party of India (Marxist) state secretariat member Rakesh Singha, who addressed the gathering, demanded the dismissal of director general of police Somesh Goyal and Shimla deputy commissioner, holding them responsible for the poor law and order situation.

“Our objective behind the protest was to seek speedy justice for Gudiya. Investigating agencies should probe the matter at the earliest,” he said, adding that the custodial death had further enraged the public. “If one is not secure in police custody, then one can imagine the plight of a common man. Suraj was killed to destroy evidence,” he alleged.

CBI registers two FIRs in Kotkhai gangrape, murder case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday took over the investigation into the Kotkhai gangrape and murder case and registered two first information reports (FIRs).

The first FIR pertains to the gangrape and murder of the 16-year-old school student. The FIR in this case was registered at the Kotkhai police station on July 6 under Sections 302 (murder) and 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code.

The second FIR is related to the murder of Suraj Singh, one of the six accused for the gangrape and murder, in police custody. Earlier, the FIR in this case was registered at the Kotkhai police station under Section 302.

First Published: Jul 23, 2017 13:56 IST