Team probing attack on Shimla’s Kotkhai police station finds weapons, seized contraband missing
Days after a mob set the Kotkhai police station on fire following the custodial death of Nepalese national, Suraj, the team investigating the incident has reportedly found that arms, seized contraband and wireless sets from the police station are missing. Suraj was an accused in the Kotkhai rape and murder case.Updated: Jul 31, 2017 21:14 IST
Days after a mob set the Kotkhai police station on fire following the custodial death of Nepalese national, Suraj, the team investigating the incident has reportedly found that arms, seized contraband and wireless sets from the police station are missing. Suraj was an accused in the Kotkhai rape and murder case.
Suraj’s death in police custody on July 19 had triggered protests in the region and a mob torched the said police station along with several vehicles.
Suraj died despite the fact that nearly 50 cops were deputed to guard the police station. Besides them, 26 others cops, including officers, were inside the police station when he died. Police had claimed that he died following a scuffle with another accused. The regular staff at the police station was summoned to police lines soon after his death and the officers were immediately transferred.
The probe in Suraj’s custodial death was transferred to the crime investigation department (CID) after the cops stationed in the police station came under scanner for the role in his death.
Earlier, two SP rank officers from Shimla had visited Kotkhai to assess the damage caused to the police station and started investigation. Cases of rioting and damage to public property have been registered against unknown persons. The Kotkhai police station falls under the responsibility of Shimla superintendent of police.
The CID team is in Kotkhai and has reportedly found that the fire arms that were present in the Kotkhai police station are missing. “The ammunition, seized contraband and important materials related to other cases are missing. The police station also had stocks of liquor that were seized during different raids,” a police officer said on condition of anonymity.
The CID has also asked the district police to provide a list of items that were in the police station before it was attacked by the mob. Initial investigations reveal that the fire damaged the rooms on the ground floor and that other rooms were ransacked by the protestors.
During the attack, the mob had also burnt the record rooms containing profiles and case details of those involved in various crimes. Apart from this, the wireless sets and computers were also damaged.
“The police have not recovered any burnt weapons inside the police station so far. Their disappearance needs to be investigated,’ the official said.
When contacted by Hindustan Times, Shimla superintendent of police Soumya Sambasivam, declined to comment on the issue.
“I cannot say anything at present. The matter is being investigated,” she said, adding that the Kotkhai police station is now being run from Gumma.
Sources said the preliminary investigation has also found that a majority of records in the police station were been destroyed in the attack.
It is learnt that the investigating team is also scanning videos that were shared on social media to identify those who vandalised the police station.
Meanwhile, director general of police Somesh Goyal said, “The probe into the torching of Kotkhai police station will be completed soon.”
The role of the fire department has also come under scanner as questions are being raised why fire tenders were not pressed into service when they reached Kotkhai police station after the attack.
First Published: Jul 31, 2017 21:12 IST