TAKING INTO account the gravity of the case – rape and murder a Class X schoolgirl — the the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which has started investigations, Sunday deputed a DIG rank officer to give a new direction to the probe, which the state police had mishandled, resulting in massive protests and outrage.
The team arrived in Shimla Sunday morning and held day-long discussions with senior police officers, including Superintendent of Police (Shimla) Soumya Sambasivan to study the case and tie up any loose ends. Apart from an additional SP-rank officer heading the SIT, the team also has a woman officer and subordinate teams. “We will also associate with some experts, including forensic scientists, to look into all aspects of the case,” a CBI officer said.
The team is likely to visit Kotkhai Monday to make an inspection of the area where the body of the girl was found on July 6, two days after she went missing and also camp there. The investigators may meet parents of the victim and take custody of all those suspects the police SIT had questioned before making six arrests — including Suraj Singh, 29, a Nepali, who died in police custody at Kotkhai.
An angry mob had attacked the police station the next day set it on fire, alleging ‘police hand’ in the custodial death. Senior police officers, including DIG Somesh Goyal, refused to comment on the case or the CBI team ‘s interaction with the Shimla SP and other officials. “It’s totally up to the CBI to decide its own line of action. In fact, they have their own system and well-laid out procedure to work. As per High Court orders, the agency will have to submit an interim report to the court within two weeks. They had asked the police not to hand over the body of Suraj, the suspect killed in police custody, to kin yet,” he said when contacted later.
Enquiries revealed that the CBI will seek the opinion of forensic experts on the body of Suraj. There are also chances of getting the post-mortem done again, if needed. Meanwhile, former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal hoped that with the CBI taking over the investigation, there was hope that the culprits would be brought to book. Dhumal, along with several other party leaders, will visit the victim’s family Monday.
On Saturday, the CBI had registered two FIRs relating to the rape and murder of a Class X schoolgirl near Kotkhai and the subsequent death of an accused in a police station, five days after his arrest in the case.