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CBI arrests IG, seven cops for custody death of rape accused

A mob had ransacked the Kotkhai police station near Shimla earlier this month following the custodial death of the rape accused. (File Photo)

A mob had ransacked the Kotkhai police station near Shimla earlier this month following the custodial death of the rape accused. (File Photo)  

Shimla court remands them in agency’s custody till September 4

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday arrested the then Himachal Pradesh Inspector General of Police (Southern Range) Zahur H. Zaidi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police and six other policemen in connection with the custodial death of a gang-rape and murder accused in Shimla in July.

Apart from the 1994 batch Indian Police Service officer, those arrested are Deputy SP (Theog) Manoj Joshi; Rajinder Singh, the then Station House Officer of Kotkhai police station; Assistant Sub Inspector Deep Chand; head constables Surat Singh, Mohan Lal and Rafiq Ali; and constable Ranjit Streta.

They were produced before a Shimla court which remanded them in CBI custody till September 4.

The Kotkhai police in Shimla district had arrested 29-year-old Nepalese labourer, Suraj Singh, and five others for their suspected involvement in the case.

The police said they kidnapped the 16-year-old victim, who was on her way home from school on July 4, raped her and then strangled her before disposing of her body in a forest. The body was found two days later.

Kept in the Kotkhai police lockup with prime accused Rajendra Singh, Suraj died on July 18 night, five days after he was arrested.

Violent protests

As news of his death spread, violent protests took place in which the police station and three police vehicles were set ablaze.

The locals were already outraged over the murder-cum-rape incident amid allegations that the police had not arrested the “real culprits.”

What followed was the transfer of Mr. Zaidi, besides two other senior police officers.

The Himachal Pradesh High Court on July 19 directed the CBI to take over the investigations into the gang-rape and murder case and the mysterious death of Suraj in police custody. It is alleged that he was murdered by the prime accused.

The CBI took over the rape-cum-murder case and constituted a Special Investigation Team headed by a Superintendent of Police.

Sections 302 (murder) and 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code, besides Section 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, have been invoked in the case.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 2:33:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/cbi-arrests-ig-seven-cops-for-custody-death-of-rape-accused/article19585403.ece

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