In a major fallout of Kotkhai fisaco, the state government transferred IGP (south) Zahur H Zaidi , SP of Shimla D W Negi and additional SP Bhajan Negi. The move comes in the light of huge public outcry and anger over the mishandling of a 16-year-old school girl’s gangrape and murder. The anger among people increased following the custodial death of an accused of the case at Kotkhai thana on Wednesday. IGP Zaidi had headed the police SIT in the case.
Ajay Kumar Yadav , IGP ( central range) Mandi has been charge of Shimla in place of Zaidi while Soumya Sambasivan , SP sirmaur will be new SP of Shimla. D W Negi has been sent to state Vigilance and anti corruption Bureau while IGP Zaidi will be posted in police HQs in the same rank.
Days after six people were arrested for the gangrape 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. The Kotkhai police station was set on fire, and protesters blocked the highway leading to Shimla. Police had to resort to lathicharge and fired two rounds in the air to disperse the crowd. About half-a-dozen policemen and some residents were reported to have been injured.
Suspecting a major security lapse and also a foul play in the custodial death of the accused in rape and murder of 16-year old girl, former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal demanded immediate resignation of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, and imposition of President’s rule in the state.
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 Garhwal), 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.