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Hoshiyar Singh probe: Another blow to HP Police as Amicus raises serious questions over SIT report

Shimla: The Amicus Currie appointed by the State High Court to ensure fair probe in mysterious death of 22-years-old forest guard, Hoshiyar Singh, in Seri-Katanda beat of Karsog division, Shimla district, Himachal Pradesh, has raised several questions over the probe conducted by Special Investigation Team (SIT) of State Police and State Crime Investigation Department (CID).

The police SIT and CID had submitted a probe report to the High Court on July 21. According to the probe, the guard died of poison. The agencies said the forensic reports confirm Hoshiyar committed suicide and was not killed by anyone.

The forensic report had also confirmed that the handwriting in which suicide notes were written matched with the writing of the killed forest guard. Two notes were recovered during the investigation, in which the guard had made shocking revelations about the ongoing nexus between forest officials and the forest mafia.

However, the Amicus Currie pointed out that the reports of the probe have missed several aspects crucial for the investigation. The report did not mention whether the poison was self-administered or was Hoshiyar forced to consume it.

There is no word about the source of poison. From where did he procure the poison? If he bought it, then from which shop or store?

The report did not investigate the status of rain between June 5, the day he disappeared, and June 9, the day body of the guard was found. Rain would have washed away the vomit which was found at the spot.

The guard had consumed rice, cereals, and salad at the house of a TGT teacher on July 5. As per postmortem report issued on July 10, they found these components undigested on the day of postmortem. The human body takes five to six hours in order to digest a meal.

Hence, the probe could not establish the accurate day and time of the death of the deceased, which is very crucial to the investigation, said the Amicus.

It also pointed out that no major action was taken against the forest mafia, and no such person was arrested during the investigation who could provide crucial details about the death of the guard.

The bench comprising of acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Ajay Mohan Goyal has directed all parties to submit a report in reply to the questions raised by the Amicus Currie within a week. Next hearing in the case is scheduled for August 2, 2017.

The credibility of the State Police and State government is again under question. The police department is already in question over alleged botched up investigation in the Kotkhai rape and murder case. The HP Police SIT was alleged of shielding real culprits and framing Nepalese and Garwalilabourers.

The killing of one of the Nepalese accused by a co-accused in police custody had triggered riots in Kotkhai. Now, the mind-boggling revelations made by the wife of the killed accused has sent the State Police on the back-foot.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team has arrived in the state and has taken over the case yesterday(Friday, July 21). The team is expected to unfold mysteries and unravel the unconvincing theory of the SIT.

Hoshiyar Singh, in his suicide notes and diary, had named six people including the Block Officer, Tez Ram, for harassing him whenever he tried to bring the illegal axing by the mafia to the attention of higher officials. As per police, the guard had also mentioned about the threat to his life from the mafia.

Based on these allegations, a four member team of the forest department had inspected the beat in which the guard was posted. The team spotted over 490 stumps of axed trees in only810-hectare area. Over 235 of these trees were illegally felled.

The committee had also recovered several wood logs from the same jungle.

The death of Hoshiyar Singh sounded an alarm over the loot of valuable forests and natural treasure of the Hill State by the forest mafia in nexus with the forest department.

The locals had staged protests over alleged callous attitude of the local police toward the investigation. The people aren’t satisfied with the current probe report, they have been demanding an investigation by CBI since the time the case has come to light and the police has been unable in providing substantial reasons for his death. Now, as the investigation has failed to appeal to the Amicus Currie too, the locals are raising voice for a fair probe by CBI yet again.

Unfortunately, the faith of people in the police has plunged drastically, and competence and honour of the state police department are in question. The serious questions raised over the police SIT probe in the case of Hoshiyar Singh by the Amicus have further raised eyebrows on police efficacy.

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