Leader of Opposition in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly Prem Kumar Dhumal on Tuesday accused the state government of “suppressing the facts” in the gangrape and murder case of a schoolgirl and alleged that it was “running away” from a discussion as it was on a “weak turf”. Talking to reporters here, he claimed that there were many loopholes in the investigation carried out by the state police into the case and added that going by the sequence of events, it appeared that the evidence in the case had been tinkered with. “The government is in the dock and it has a lot to explain. But, it is running away from the discussions, which is giving rise to more suspicion about its role and that of the police,” the former chief minister said.
Referring to reports of CBI raids at the houses of four persons, whose photographs were uploaded on the Facebook page of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, Dhumal said the subsequent deletion of the photographs from the social media raised several questions on the police investigation.
He also claimed that the state government’s request to the high court for a CBI probe into the ghastly crime, stating that the situation was going out of its hands, spoke volumes about “its own failures”.
Dhumal said it was “intriguing” that the police suddenly arrested some persons in the case after a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was formed and claimed that the credibility of the men in uniform was at stake and that is why the government was forced to refer the case to the CBI to “save its own skin”.
The BJP leader alleged that the mysterious death of forest guard Hoshiar Singh in the Karsog area of Mandi district was linked to the forest mafia, adding that the culprits were being shielded by the government.
He said the police version that the forest guard had committed suicide was “not convincing”.
Pointing out that the police recently placed some persons under arrest after going through the call details of Singh’s mobile phone, Dhumal wondered why did it take them such a long time to do so.
He also alleged that the cases of illegal felling of trees at Bharmour and Taradevi were being hushed up.
“Regarding Taradevi, the government said no tree was felled there but bushes were cleared, in spite of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) slapping a fine of Rs 1.16 crore on it,” Dhumal said.
The leader of opposition also claimed that the controversy surrounding the arrest of a Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) official with ‘chitta’ (crude heroin), too had taken a “twist” as the drug was later dubbed as ‘limestone’.