CBI probe in Shimla gangrape and murder

CBI inquiry in Kotkhai case officially begins as agency files two separate cases on Saturday

Shimla -The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has officially confirmed initiation of investigation in the alleged Kotkhai gangrape and murder of a 16-year-old school. The CBI on Saturday registered two separate cases – one relating to the investigation of rape and murder of the minor girl and another to investigate the death of Suraj Singh, one of the Nepalese accused, in police custody under mysterious circumstances.

CBI has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by Superintendent of Police and an Addl.SP & a Dy.SP. The team had proceeded to the scene of the crime after officially taking over both the cases.

The first case was filed over the investigation of FIR under Sections 302, 376 of IPC and Section 4 of POCSO Act registered earlier at Police Station, Kotkhai, Shimla district.

The second case was filed over the FIR under Section 302 of IPC earlier registered at Kotkhai Police Station relating to the custodial death of one of the accused arrested by police.

The CBI SIT is expected to take possession of all documents related to the investigation from the police.
The action came in wake of orders passed by the State High Court in which CBI was asked to form an SIT and conduct probe in the case.

So far, the State police SIT had arrested six accused, out of which one was killed in police custody in Kotkhai police station under mysterious circumstances. As per police, co-accused Raju allegedly killed Suraj by hitting him on private parts, strangulating and then smashing his head on the floor or the wall.

In a press conference held on July 13, SIT had claimed the case was solved and all accused were behind bars.
However, the SIT probe faced widespread criticism and had led to a violent protest in Theog on July 14 following which the Chief Minister was compelled to order a CBI inquiry.

The family of the victim and the people of the region had expressed suspicion regarding the probe conducted by HP Police SIT in the case. They alleged police tried to shield real culprits, who belong to wealthy and influential families of the area.

The killing of the accused further strengthened the suspicion of alleged conspiracy. The killing triggered riots in the Kotkhai region where an enraged mob vandalized the police station and set it on fire. The police staff was thrashed, and several policemen were injured in the stone-pelting by the mob.

The situation has grown so tense that the police had to fire warning rounds in the air. Protests still continue over the entire episode. The distress among people has aggravated since then.

Now, all eyes are on CBI. The State High Court has asked the CBI to file a report within two weeks.

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