The Himachal Pradesh High Court referred the probe relating to the alleged murder of a 22-year-old forest guard at Mandi’s Karsog area to the CBI.The agency was asked to take over the investigations into the case immediately and find-out the reason behind the mysterious death. The guard, Hoshiar Singh, who was posted there only few months back, went missing and later his body was found hanging upside down from a tree in June this year.
The order was passed by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Sandeep Sharma on a PIL taken-up by the court in its suo moto action based on media reports and massive public protests in the area as well as in Mandi and Shimla. In its order, the Court told the CBI to probe the cases of forest felling in the area. During the hearing of the case, the state government and police conveyed to the High Court that they didn’t have any problem if the case was handed over to the CBI, even as it’s investigations were complete. Locals suspect hand of mafia and few politicians of the area and that forest officers were shielding them.
Few days back, the High Court had stopped the police from filing a chargesheet in the court after social activists and villagers had disapproved the police investigations, which initially claimed it to be a case of suicide. Apart from six arrests made earlier, the police, last month,claimed to have made a breakthrough by arresting four persons,who were allegedly involved in razing the forest in the area and were suspected to have a hand in the death of the forest guard.The photographs of the suspects,who belonged to one family, were found in the victim’s mobile phone. The photographs were examined and they were found razing trees in the forest.