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Kotkhai CBI Probe: SIT seeks permission for lie detection test on accused



Kotkhai CBI probe status report

CBI finally reaches one of the persons shown in pictures posted on the Facebook page of the Chief Minister. Agency questions this person, who is said to be a close relative of a senior law officer of Himachal Pradesh.

Shimla: After the embarrassment it faced for the second time in the Himachal Pradesh High Court on August 17 for underperformance in the investigation of the rape and murder a minor school girl in Kotkhai region of Shimla district, the Central Bureau of Investigation now appears to be speeding up the probe.

On Saturday, sources reported that the CBI team is now seeking approval for conduction a lie detection (polygraph) test on the accused.

It strongly suggests the CBI has found inconsistency in the statements of the accused including the Ashish Chauhan. The agency will need the consent of the court as well as those of the accused in order to conduct a lie detector test.

An accused can deny consent for the lie detector test; however, it then goes against him in the court of law.

As per a fresh report, CBI has finally reached one of the persons shown in pictures posted on the Facebook page of the Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. The person, who is said to be a close relative of a senior law officer of Himachal Pradesh, was questioned by the CBI team in relation to the case.

The report said the information was released by a CBI official but requested anonymity.

The Division Bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Sandeep Sharma had made all the members of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) and police personnel posted in the Kotkhai Police Station a party and asked them to be present in the court on August 18.

The court asked all the police personals to file their individual affidavits regarding the investigation conducted in the case by August 24.

These police personals included the head of the SIT IG, Zaidi, Bhajan Dev Negi, Additional Superintendent of Police (Rural), Manoj Joshi, Deputy SP, Theog, Rajender Singh, SHO and an investigating officer.

Following it, the agency had seized the mobiles phones of some police officials in relation to Suraj’s killing, one of the Nepalese accused. The agency had questioned the top cops, and it was believed that the police is in trouble over the killing of Suraj in the custody.

As per sources, the Sentry who was on duty the night Suraj was killed had given the agency different statement. The Sentry denied watching Raju killing Suraj in the lock-up. He had reportedly disclosed that previously his signature was taken on a pre-scripted statement. 

CBI SIT had submitted a fresh status report on August 17, as directed by the court on the previous hearing on August 2, 2017.

The agency had requested the court to grant one more month to complete the investigation, which was denied. The division bench directed the agency to complete the probe in two weeks.

Misc News/Press Release

DC Kangra confirms abduction of 3 Himachalis in Nigeria, CM seeks Centre Govt’s help



Himachali held hostages in nigeria

Shimla: The Deputy Commissioner of Kangra today confirmed that Nigerian sea pirates have held three men hailing from Kangra hostages for ransom.

The state government said it has taken up the matter with the Government of India and requested the safe release of all three hostages.

The step came after the news appeared in regional media.

The State government claimed that in a communiqué to the Western Africa Division, Ministry of External Affairs, the state government said the three youths namely Sushil Kumar, Pankaj Kumar and Ajay Kumar, who belong to Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh have been kidnapped by the Nigerian pirates as per the confirmed report.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has sought the intervention of Union government to ensure the safe release of three hostages.He hoped the union government will act fast and get the hostages released safely.

You can read the entire matter here in HW’s previous article.

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Govt silent over safety of 3 Himachali youth allegedly held hostages by Nigerian pirates for ransom



Himachali held hostages in nigeria

Shimla: Three youths hailing from Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district, who were serving in Merchant Navy, have reportedly ended in the hands of armed Nigerian sea pirates as hostages. The armed pirates hijacked their ship and demanded a ransom of 11 million nairas (20-22 Lakh INR) from the parents of one of the hostages.

The details are scanty as no official confirmation has been made by the State or Centre Government. It is not clear when they were abducted. 

The news broke out when Raghubir Singh (62) of Nagrota, father of one of the hostages, reached media yesterday.  

As per the information given by Raghubir, the other two men included Pankaj Kumar of Samloti and Ajay Kumar of Palampur.

The three men were currently working for a private shipping company named Max Marine Services in Cortnou Benin.

On March 12, the parents of one of the abducted youth, Susheel Sharma (37), who was the captain on the ship, received a call through a satellite phone. Susheel told the parents that he along with two others had been held hostage in some jungle. He told the parents about the pirate’s demand for ransom in exchange for their release.

On March 21, Himachal had received a shock after the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed, while speaking in the Parliament, the killing of 39 Indians in Iraq including four men from Himachal. Three of them hailed from Kangra while remaining one belonged to Mandi district.

Now, this fresh case of abduction has again jolted Kangra.

Surprisingly, as alleged by the parents, the Centre or State Government have not given any reaction to the situation.   

The district administration also said it was not aware of the situation.

The parents also alleged the shipping company of keeping them in dark whenever they contacted it to know whereabouts of their son. The owner of the ship told the parents that a negotiation was ongoing with the pirates.

However, recently, the owner stopped picking up phone calls from the aggrieved parents.  

Ultimately, the family on March 18 approached the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the Prime Minister, Modi,  through a mail with their plea to intervene and rescue their son.

However, the parents allege that they did not receive any satisfactory response from anyone. 

As per the statement of the parents, Sudhir had told them that they are getting only one meal per day. The pirates will starve them to death if the ransom is not paid, Sudhir had told the parents.

Now, the parents do not trust the company anymore and have put their hope on the Government.   


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Man killed as stone rolls down hill, breaks through moving HRTC bus window in Kullu



Bizzare Bus Accident in Himachal's Kullu

Kullu: A big round stone rolled down a hill and broke through the window of a moving Himachal Pradesh Road Corporation (HRTC) bus that was heading towards Kullu from Rampur today. The accident occurred near Luhri in Kullu.  A co-passenger who was sitting beside the deceased also came in spate and received injuries.

However, the deceased, who was identified as Manohar Singh (60) of Tippal village in Anni, died on the spot.  The injured was identified as Vijay Kumar of Kumarsain. He was taken to hospital in Rampur. 

The death came from nowhere and picked up its prey within a fraction of a second, said the eyewitnesses. The stone hit Manohar right on his head, which was badly crushed.  

Other passengers were horrified by the bizarre and sudden manner the stone broke through the window like a bullet.  

A police team from Luhri rushed to the spot and took custody of the dead body.  The elected MLA Kishori Lal Sagar also arrived at the spot on hearing the tragic news. The body was later handed over to the family after the postmortem.

The district administration provided Rs. 20, 000 to the victim’s family as immediate relief. The HRTC also announced Rs. 10,000 as relief money.  

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