A CBI court on Thursday, once again, extended the judicial custody of nine policemen arrested in the custodial death case of Suraj Singh — one of six suspects in the rape-and-murder of a 16-year old school girl in Shimla – to December 19.
All the police officers, including IGP Zahur H Zaidi, DSP Manoj Thakur and former Kotkhai SHO, are lodged at Kanda’s Modern Central Jail while former SP (Shimla) D W Negi – who was arrested last month – is currently at Kaithu Jail.
All the police officials were present in the court on Thursday after their remand expired. The CBI, which has filed a 600-page chargesheet against them, barring Negi, asked for time from the court to obtain prosecution sanctions against the accused.
Since the district Bar Association has already decided that none of its lawyers will present the accused in the Gudiya (the name given to the 16-year-old) rape-and-murder case, the policemen are facing problems to put forward their defence on the charges against them.
During the hearing, Zaidi sought the court’s permission to collect his mobile phone and Aadhaar card, which was required to be linked to his bank account – a formality he was called upon to perform. The court sought the CBI’s response on his plea by December 19. However, CBI’s request to collect voice samples of Zaidi and other accused police officers could not be taken-up for arguments and the same was listed for the next date of hearing.
In the chargesheet, the CBI has accused the eight officers (except D W Negi) of fabricating evidence against one suspect Rajinder Singh alias Raju for Suraj’s death. The central investigation agency has claimed Suraj actually died of torture and brutalities inflicted on him to get confession. The CBI has given a clean chit to Raju in the case after the state police SIT filed an FIR against him.
Ever since the arrest of the cops, the police have been facing flak for mishandling the July 16 rape-and-murder case, which had created an uproar in the state. The agency is now required to file a final status report in the High Court by December 20. The CBI is also supposed to file a supplementary chargesheet against Negi in the CBI court for his role in the custodial death case. Director General of Police Somesh Goyal on Tuesday had admitted that the case had dented the police image.