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Kothkai rape case: Our life is in danger, say youths whose photos went viral on social media

Four youths have submitted a joint complaint at the Kotkhai police station seeking action against those who uploaded and shared their photographs

punjab Updated: Jul 17, 2017 09:57 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times, Shimla
Kothkai rape,Shimla rape,Shimla minor rape
People protesting against rape and murder of a minor girl in Shimla on June 15.(Deepak Sansta/HT)

The four youths whose photographs were widely shared on the social media wherein they were labelled as the culprits in the Kothkai rape and murder case now fear for their life. On Saturday, they submitted a joint complaint at the Kotkhai police station seeking action against those who uploaded and shared their photographs on the social media.

The compliant filed with the police, a copy of which is with the Hindustan Times, claims that on July 12 the police had rounded up three people for questioning in the Kotkhai rape and murder case. However, photographs of the complainants (the four youth) were shared on Facebook and WhatsApp as culprits, even though they were not linked with the case in any manner.

The complaint adds: “Ever since our photographs went viral on the social media, we are being treated as culprits . We now fear for our life. Our relatives are worried as we are exposed to danger.”

In their communiqué, the four have sought assistance from station house officer in Kotkhai to help them in removing their photographs form the social networking sites. Their relatives have also approached the police cyberspace cell in Shimla.

“We have received a complaint from the relatives of the youth and it has been forwarded to Shimla police,” said an official at the police cyberspace cell, requesting anonymity.

CM too uploaded their photos

Disturbingly enough, the photographs of the four youth were also uploaded on the Facebook page of chief minister Virbhadra Singh. However, it was removed later.

In his post dated July 12, the chief minister wrote: “I would like to inform the people of Himachal Pradesh that four suspects have been taken into police custody and further investigations are being conducted.” The post went on to congratulate the investigating team lead by IGP Zahur Zaidi for “cracking” the case.

However, the team responsible for updating Virbhadra’s social networking accounts deleted the post after some officers reportedly informed them about the goof up.

Two called for DNA sampling

Meanwhile, on Saturday, two of the four youth whose photographs went viral on the social media were brought to the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, Shimla for their DNA test. Police said their medical examination was conducted and the samples will be sent for DNA profiling.

DNA samples of the rape victim have also been preserved at the Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla.

There were lapses in police probe: HP Cong chief

Meanwhile, the Himachal Pradesh Congress committee president Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu welcomed the government decision to refer the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

He also admitted that there are lapses in the probe conducted by the police. “It is a welcome step that the chief minister has referred the case to the CBI. However, I admit that there have been lapses (in the probe) that led to public outcry,” Sukhu said.

First Published: Jul 15, 2017 19:55 IST