Shimla rape-murder: Accused killed in lock-up, police station set on fire

The rape and murder of the 16-year-old girl, a Class X student of the Government Senior Secondary School in Mahasu, had sparked protests in the area, prompting the state home department to hand over the case to the CBI.

Written by Ashwani Sharma | Kotkhai (shimla) | Updated: July 20, 2017 2:36 am
Shimla gangrape, shimla rape, shimla school girl rape, shimla gangrape murder, shimla news, himachal pradesh news, india news The staff of Kotkhai PS have been shifted out. (Express Photo: Pradeep Kumar)

Days after six people were arrested for the rape and murder of a minor girl in Kotkhai, one of them, Suraj Singh, a 29-year-old labourer from Nepal, was allegedly killed by the main accused, Rajender Singh alias Raju, 30, at the Kotkhai police station late on Tuesday night.

The news of Suraj’s death triggered protests in Kotkhai, 56 kilometres from Shimla, and other parts of the state on Wednesday. Protesters surrounded the Kotkhai police station and pelted stones, before finally torching the police station. Three police vehicles were also set on fire. The crowd, however, spared the residential quarters, where the families of policemen were lodged.

Police had to resort to lathicharge and fire two rounds in the air to disperse the crowd. About half-a-dozen policemen and some residents were reported to have been injured in the clashes.

According to police sources, Suraj was lodged in a cell with Raju and another accused, Lokjan alias Chotu. At around midnight on Tuesday, a police guard reportedly heard a noise and went to the cell. He reportedly found Suraj lying in a pool of blood. Inspector General of Police (South) Zahur Zaidi said Suraj was rushed to hospital, where he was declared dead.

“Preliminary reports suggest that Suraj was attacked by Raju… By the time the guard reached, he was almost dead. It’s a clear case of custodial death which will be probed by a judicial magistrate,” he said.

All the policemen posted at Kotkhai police station, including the SHO, have been shifted out. The government has also shifted IGP (South) Zahur Zaidi, Shimla Superintendent of Police D W Negi and Additional SP Bhajan Negi.

The rape and murder of the 16-year-old girl, a Class X student of the Government Senior Secondary School in Mahasu, had sparked protests in the area, prompting the state home department to hand over the case to the CBI. According to the police, the incident happened on July 4 when the victim was returning from school. Her body was found two days later, in the Halaila forest of Mahasu. The postmortem report confirmed rape and death by strangulation, and revealed that she had deep injuries all over her face and body.

On July 13, police announced the arrest of Ashish Chauhan, 29, of Shaaral village in Kotkhai, the son of a prominent orchard owner. Later, the same day, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) confirmed the arrest of five others, including Raju, a resident of Mandi who lived in Halaila village in Kotkhai and worked as a manager-cum-driver at an apple orchard.

According to the police, Raju had offered a lift to the victim. Four other accused — Subash Singh Bisht, 42, Deepu, 38, (both from Uttarakhand), Suraj Singh, 29, and Lokjan, 19, (both from Nepal) — were also in the vehicle. The four are farm labourers, said the police.

The accused were on police remand and were scheduled to be presented before the court on Thursday.

The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Wednesday ordered a CBI probe into the minor girl’s rape and murder as well as the death of the accused. It asked the CBI to set up a special investigation team, headed by an officer of the rank of SP or above.

Himachal Governor Acharya Devvrat also sought a detailed report from the state government on both the cases.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh assured justice to the family of the minor girl. “To play politics over the death of a minor girl is shameful, as her soul won’t be able to rest in peace. I am sincerely committed to bringing the criminals to book and want them to be hanged for the heinous crime they have committed,” he said.

“The state government has formed a Special Investigation Team… I personally wrote to the Prime Minister to get the CBI to investigate this case,” he said.

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  1. Sunil Kohli
    Jul 20, 2017 at 12:21 am
    We want justice. Un ldko ko fansi honi chahiy.. Unko koi adhikar nhi h is duniya m June ka .... Shimla police haye haye ....or ye case CBI ko diya jaye ..Ku ki shimla police is case me un criminals ke sath mili huyi h
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    1. S
      Suman
      Jul 19, 2017 at 3:57 pm
      Its still the fault of the girl to get a lift from unknown people. Stay away from Strangers.
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      1. V
        Vikas
        Jul 20, 2017 at 6:29 pm
        But i dont think she was waiting there for lift..
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      2. Logic Induction
        Jul 19, 2017 at 1:12 pm
        A back ward society packed with insecure people !
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        1. H
          How bizarre
          Jul 20, 2017 at 3:08 am
          May be u require a logical conduction on ur cheeks for making such a bizarre comment on such sensitive and grave matter Sincerely up yours 1 of those many backward and insecure himachli Thank u
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        2. S
          salim chagla
          Jul 19, 2017 at 12:28 pm
          Rogue' In Pieces~any gang-rapes is the best way, as our system is too slow [" judge/s"] if genuine rather excellent, as Uttar Pradesh c.m. a rascal cannot suddenly change-in Gorakhpur ps:...mistakes in p.m.....keep more in complex India issue's then abroad
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          1. L
            langdewalasalim
            Jul 19, 2017 at 8:16 pm
            you are an .
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            1. L
              langdewalasalim
              Jul 19, 2017 at 8:19 pm
              apki anda biryani band kar di yogi ne... hehehe
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            2. P
              Priya Singh
              Jul 19, 2017 at 11:28 am
              Its disgusting, such a heinous act very difficult to survive in this WORLD as female. Shame on this culprits, they should get HANG in public to prevent such a ferocious crime.
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              1. B
                Bhakt
                Jul 19, 2017 at 11:42 am
                Why are you promoting sharia law in a great country like India? Instead you should be hanged for promoting the terrorist religion.
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                1. S
                  Soma mitra
                  Jul 19, 2017 at 12:04 pm
                  Rape murder is a crime deserve capital punishment in India .It's not Sharia law .ignorant bakhthard
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                  1. T
                    Test
                    Jul 19, 2017 at 12:10 pm
                    Stop using fake name and instigating people. You have nothing better to do? A real Bhakt will support capital punishment like me. I am a BHAKT of mother India and the girl dies was our sister. Capital punishment for the accused.
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