Kotkhai rape and murder case: Himachal okays prosecution of IG Zaidi, 7 others
Almost three months after CBI filed a chargesheet in the custodial death of an accused in the Kotkhai rape and murder case, the Himachal government has approved the prosecution of IG Zahur Zaidi and seven others.
The CBI had sought sanction for the prosecution of officials who were part of the SIT constituted to probe the Kotkhai rape and murder case in July last year. The agency had submitted a chargesheet on November 25, and mentioned that it was awaiting the state’s nod to prosecute these osfficials.
The government on Wednesday gave its approval for the prosecution of eight officials, including- suspended IG Police Zahur Zaidi.
In a chargehseet filed on November 25, the central probe agency also accused the SIT, headed by inspector general of police (IG) Zahur Zaidi, of a cover-up following the death of Nepalese national Suraj Singh in police custody on July 18.
“After the formation of the SIT, inspector general (IG) Zahur Zaidi, the then Shimla superintendent of police (SP) DW Negi, Theog deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Manoj Joshi and other accused police officers entered into a criminal conspiracy to falsely implicate Suraj Singh and others in the Kotkhai rape and murder case,” CBI’s chargesheet said.
The CBI has arrested nine police officers, including Zaidi, former Shimla SP DW Negi and then DSP Theog Manoj Joshi and few other cops in the case.
According to the chargesheet, the SIT arrested Suraj Singh and four others on July 13, a week after the girl’s body was found, even though there was no evidence against them.
The CBI also noted that Suraj Singh was tortured to “extract” a confession, and another man arrested by the SIT was forced at gunpoint to admit to his involvement in the crime.
After taking over probe following a Himachal Pradesh high court order, the CBI re-examined Singh’s body in the presence of experts from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, on July 25. The report revealed Singh had sustained injuries at intervals ranging from about two days to two hours prior to his death.
“The injuries on Suraj’s body were the result of a blunt hard cylindrical object such as ‘lathi’. The medical board also ruled out the possibility of Suraj sustaining injuries in a scuffle with another individual,” states the chargesheet.
Recently, the CBI filed a supplementary chargehseet against DW Negi and charged him with murder and disappearance of evidence.