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8 Himachal cops, including IG, held over custodial death of Shimla rape accused

The body of a 16-year-old girl, who was allegedly raped and murdered, was found on July 6 in Kothkhai. Six people were arrested in the case, of which, one of the accused later died in police custody.

india Updated: Aug 30, 2017 10:28 IST
Rajesh Ahuja
Rajesh Ahuja
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Shimla rape case,Kothkhai rape case,Shimla rape custodial death
Inspector general Zahur Haidar Zaidi of the SIT who was arrested by the CBI on Tuesday. (HT photo)

A top Himachal Pradesh police officer was among eight personnel arrested on Tuesday by the CBI which is investigating the custodial death of a Nepali labourer, a suspect in the rape and murder of a minor schoolgirl in Shimla.

Inspector general Zahur Haidar Zaidi was leading the special investigation team looking into the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl in the Kotkhai area of Shimla in early July before the CBI took over the probe into the crime that shook the hill state and saw massive protests.

“The accused were produced before the court on Tuesday and they have been remanded to police custody till September 4,” CBI spokesman Abhishek Dayal said.

Timeline of events
  • July 4: Gudiya (name changed) is missing
  • July 6: Her body is found in a forested area
  • July 7: Protests in Shimla and Kotkhai over rape and murder
  • July 9: Police constitutes SIT under IG (south)
  • July 12: Six youth detained for questioning
  • July 13: Police claims breakthrough, arrests six
  • July 14: Mob vandalise police station in Theog
  • July 15 massive protest in Shimla
  • July 19: Suraj dies in police custody; mob set on Kotkhai police station on fire
  • July 22: CBI takes over investigation
  • July 25: CBI re-examines Suraj’s body
  • August 5: CBI files status report
  • August 17: CBI given two week, cops arrayed as party
  • August 18: SIT members asked to file individual affidavits
  • August 24: SIT members filed affidavits in the Court, CBI will file status report on September 6

The others who were arrested are deputy superintendent of police Manoj Joshi and five personnel of the Kotkhai police station, including in-charge Rajinder Singh, where Suraj Singh was killed allegedly by a co-accused.

All the six suspects in the rape case were lodged in the Kotkhai police station, which was set on fire by angry locals after Singh’s murder. Locals said the probe was botched up and police had not arrested the real accused.

The CBI, which has questioned more than 100 people, has not said anything about the role of the policemen in the death of the 29-year-old labourer, whose wife accused the police of framing her husband.

The Himachal Pradesh government and police faced severe criticism for their handling of the case, as people blocked roads and held candlelight vigils demanding justice for the Class 10 student who was found dead in the woods of Halaila village on July 4.

A close relative of a Himachal Pradesh law officer was a suspect in the rape case, CBI sources said, adding he had been questioned by the agency.

The CBI took over the probe into the rape-and-murder case and the custodial death on July 22 on the orders of the Himachal Pradesh high court.

The court on August 17 expressed dissatisfaction with the probe in both cases and gave the CBI two more weeks to complete the investigation.

First Published: Aug 29, 2017 18:16 IST