A local court on Tuesday granted bail to all the four accused in the Kotkhai teenage girl’s rape-murder case of July 2017, calling into question the probe by both the state police and the CBI. One of the accused, Ashish Chauhan, son of a local orchard owner, had already been released on bail by the district and sessions court in Shimla earlier.
The accused have been granted bail on the ground that the the CBI failed to file a chargesheet in the stipulated 90 days. Of the total six accused arrested by the police SIT on July 13, one Suraj Singh, a Nepalese national had died in the police custody at Kotkhai. The CBI had arrested eight police officers, including IGP Zahur Zaidi, in the custodial death case.
The accused given bail have been asked to furnish a bail bond of Rs one lakh each within a week. Those released on bail today include Rajender Singh (32), Subash Singh Bisht (42)and Deepak alias Depu (38) and Lokjan alias Chotu (19). Barring Ashish Chauhan, all other accused were employees of a prominent orchard owner of the village where the incident happened.
The High Court had last week pulled up the CBI for not making any headway in the investigations. The rape and murder case had triggered large-scale protests in Shimla and other towns. The police station at Kotkhai was also set on fire by the people, who also torched several police vehicles during protests at Theog and Kotkhai.