Kotkhai rape and murder case solved by HP Police

Kotkhai Rape and murder case solved: SIT arrests 6 accused within 55 hours

However, some journalists and majority of public expressed doubts over the investigation and raised several questions. People still sense a conspiracy to save real culprits, and are demanding inquiry from Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The police denied to comment on the photographs of some people allegedly shared on Chief Minister Virbhadra’s Official Facebook wall. People are asking why those people are not in the picture anymore.

Shimla: Eight days after the discovery of the naked dead body of a girl, who was raped and murdered in Halaila woods in Kotkhai, Shimla, State Police has finally made a breakthrough and arrested six people. The barbaric case had shook the entire hill state that was considered a peaceful and safer place for females.

It was a blind murder case that was solved within 55 hours of formation of Special Investigation Team (SIT), Director General of Police, HP, Somesh Goyal said in a press conference held at the State Police Headquarters, Shimla, today.

The accused were identified as Ashish Chauhan alias Ashu (29) of Mahasu (Shimla), Subash Singh Bisht (42)and Deepak aliasDepu (38) of Uttarakhand, Rajinder Singh alias Raju (32) of Halaila, Suraj Singh (29) and Lokjan alias Chotu (19) of Nepal, informed Zahur Zaidi, IG, Southern Range and head of the SIT.

All accused were arrested from Kotkhai, where they were currently settled.

In 55 hours, the SIT questioned 85 people and analysed 28 call details. The circumstances of the case were altogether different than the Nirbhaya case as there was no dying declaration of the victim, eyewitness or CCTV cameras. The police had to start from scratch due to lack of any initial lead. The evidences on ground were also washed away by rain, said the IG.

Police have clinching physical, technical, and forensic evidence to prove the crime of the arrested accused, claimed the IG.

However, some journalists and majority of public expressed doubts over the investigation and raised several questions. People still sense a conspiracy to save real culprits, and are demanding inquiry from Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The police denied to comment on the photographs of some people allegedly shared on Chief Minister Virbhadra’s Official Facebook wall. People are asking why those people are not in the picture anymore.

Clearing ambiguity spread by media reports, Zahur Zaidi confirmed that the girl was sexually assaulted in the same woods, just 10 meters away from where her body was dumped. She was dragged to the thorny bushes and accused took turns to rape her.

Asphyxiation was cited as the cause of death as accused tried to suppress her screams by shutting her mouth. The body had scars and bite marks on several parts, he added.

Earlier today, police had arrested Ashish as the first accused, and by evening it claimed arrest of all six accused.

In the press conference, the DIG admitted it was a gruesome and barbaric act as revealed by the post-mortem of the body. Such an act of barbarity cannot be executed by a normal human being, and the arrested accused have presented a horrific scene here, he said.

Connecting most of the links, the DIG disclosed that one of the accused, Raju, was already familiar to the girl. Raju often offered a lift to the girl in his vehicle. The girl had twice accepted the offer of a lift. On July 4, Raju, who was driving with two others, saw the girl walking and offered her lift. The girl accepted the lift, he informed.

Allegedly, the two of them were under influence having consumed almost two bottles of liquor. The accused stopped the vehicle at an isolated spot in the woods and got out of the vehicle. They planned the crime on the spot and dragged the girl out of the vehicle.

However, involvement of other three accused were not described in the conference.

The girl was Class X student in the village school. She had gone missing on July 4, and her naked body was found on the morning of July 6. After post-mortem and forensic investigation, it was confirmed that the girl was first raped and then choked to death.

The pictures of her dead body went viral on social media and created distress among people who took to the street demanding the arrest of the culprits.

DIG Somesh Goyal congratulated the SIT for cracking the blind murder case within 55 hours. He said, it was perhaps the first-of-its-kind case in Dev Bhoomi Himachal, and that he is satisfied with the efforts of his men.

More details would be revealed in coming days, the investigation is still under process to dig out more facts.

The SIT, headed by Zahur Zaidi, IG, Southern Range, comprised of Bhajan Dev Negi, SSP, Shimla, DSP Manoj Joshi, Ratan Negi, Babu Ram,SHO, Dhalli Police Station, Dharm Singh, Rajender Singh, ASI Rajneesh, and some other officials.

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