Even as state home department on Saturday formally wrote to the central government, informing of its decision to hand-over Class-X school girl’s rape and murder case, there was no let up in the angry protests, mass dharnas and processions in Shimla and some other towns, including Solan. The students, belonging to SFI and ABVP –both rival student bodies, boycotted the classes in the colleges and took over procession on the Mall road, and later held a dharna at the Ridge to show their solidarity with family of the victim – which protesters have nicked named as ‘Gudia’ on the lines of Delhi’s ‘Nirbhaya’ .
Normally, the processions and dharnas are not permitted on the Mall road and The Ridge because of prohibitory orders but today student activists marched on the Mall road with placards,banners and posters while they also raised anti-police slogans .
“The police have bungled-up investigations. The real culprits are still roaming free and they were being shielded by the police since they belong to well-to-do families. Only some labourers from Nepal and Uttrakhand have been booked by fabricating a false story. Till the family of the victim is not satisfied with investigations, the protests will continue” said Latika, one of the protesters.
The student unions alleged that the government was forced to hand over probe to the CBI following massive public outcry and protests at Theog and other towns, but until the police arrests the real culprits and the CBI starts investigations in a fair manner, the students will not give up their demands .
Meanwhile Shimla Nagrik Sabha –a Left wing organisation also organised protests in Shimla, which was joined by several locals, to seek justice for the victim.
Vijendra Mehra, a Nagrik Sabha leader, accused the state government and police of cover-up and attempt to shield the people involved . “There is complete deterioration of the law and order situation. The government has not been able to do justice with the family of the victim. Everyday, some new cases of murder come to light and police fail to arrest the culprits.
He claimed that growing anger in the public and massive protests happening everyday reflect the amount of disillusionment that prevails over the masses after the shocking case of rape and murder thereafter by the accused. Such offenders did not deserve leniency of any sort. They should be prosecuted in a fast track manner so that maximum punishment could be awarded.
Meanwhile PCC president Sukhwinder Sukhu admitted that the police have not done its job satisfactorily. “ There has been some glaring laxity on the part of the police ,which has resulted in anger in the masses. The state government has acted as par citizens’ aspirations after reading the underlining message about dissatisfaction and mistrust to give the case to the CBI. The congress wants the accused, whosoever, high they maybe, to be sent to the jail for committing such a gruesome crime” he said.
The SIT, which was investigating the case, has arrested six persons including son of a leading orchardist and driver -cum-munshi (Manager) of another Kotkhai orchardist. Rest all four are labourers, two each from Nepal and Garahwal .