Kotkhai CBI probe: IG Zaidi, DSP with 6 others arrested, remanded to police custody
Shimla: As the biggest and a stunning development in the ongoing investigation of in the gangrape and gruesome murder of a minor girl in Kotkhai region of Shimla district so far, the Central Bureau of Investigation on August 29 arrested eight Police officials of Himachal Pradesh including Zahur Zaidi, Inspector General of Police and Manoj Joshi, Deputy Superintend, Theog.
It’s for the first time in the history of Himachal that an IG rank official was arrested.
Zaidi was the head of the Special Investigation Team of HP Police that had investigated the rape and murder case.
These arrests were made in relation to the custodial death of one of the accused Suraj Singh at the Kotkhai Police Station on July 18, 2017.
The arrests have come as a huge blow to the credibility of the State police and government. The others arrested officials include a Sub-Inspector and then SHO, Kotkhai, an ASI, three Head Constables and one Constable.
The arrested accused were produced in the competent court in Shimla on August 29. The court remanded them to police custody till September 4, 2017.
The HP SIT had earlier arrested six accused in this case claiming the case was solved and all the accused were behind bars. These accused included Ashish Chauhan (29), Rajinder Singh (32), Subash Singh Bisht (42) Surat Singh (29), Lok Jan (19), and Deepak (38). Suraj and Lok Jan were Nepalese laborers who were working in the orchard of a wealthy and renowned apple grower of the region.
Out of these, Suraj Singh was killed under mysterious circumstances in police custody. The local police had put the blame on a co-accused Raju of killing Suraj inside the lockup.
CBI had registered two cases on July 19, 2017, following orders issued by the State High Court (in CWPIL No.88 of 2017). CBI had taken over the investigation of two cases filed by the local police.
First case (FIR No. 97 of 2017) was earlier filed at Police Station, Kotkhai on July 6, 2017, under Sections 302, 376 of IPC & Section 4 of POCSO Act relating to gangrape and murder of a minor girl whose naked dead body was found in the forest of Halaila in Kotkhai region same day.
The second case (FIR No. 101 of 2017) was filed at the same police station on July 19, 2017, under Section 302 of IPC relating to the custodial death of one of the accused arrested by the HP Police SIT.
Photo: The Tribune