The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probing the Kotkhai rape and murder case and the custodial death of an accused Suraj Singh, has moved an application in the local court seeking permission to take voice samples of IPG Zahur Zaidi and other seven officers.
All the officers are lodged at Shimla’s Kanda jail. The court has extended the custody of the officers till November 17 and has also fixed the hearing on the same day. The state High Court, which is monitoring the probe had told the CBI on October 25 to file the chargesheet in the custodial death case by November 30. For filing the final status report in connection with rape and murder case, the court has allowed CBI to complete its investigation by December 20.
All the five accused arrested by the police SIT on July 13 have already been released on bail by the CBI court as the investigating agency had failed to file the chargesheet against them within 90 days of their arrests. In the custodial death case of Suraj Singh, a Nepali national, the chargesheet has to be filed before November 30. If the CBI doesn’t meet the deadline the police officers will be entitled to the bail.
In order to bridge the gaps in the investigations, the CBI has now thought of obtaining voice samples of the officers. Insiders say the CBI, apparently had traced some telephone conversations after July 18– the day when Suraj died in the custody. Those voice samples will be matched with the original voice of the police officers, sources suggest.
Gudia—a symbolic name given to 16-year old school girl, who was gang-raped and murdered, had gone missing on her way back from Mahasoo school on July 4. Her body was found dumped in Halaila forests two days later. The case which had also become an election issue had triggered massive protests in Shimla and Kotkhai before it was referred to the CBI. The CBI, had, however, submitted a 70-page status report to the High Court on October 25 hinting that some vital clues have been found that could solve the case.
The CPM leader Rakesh Singha, who earlier was also in the center of the protests, seeking the arrests of real culprits, has once again announced to start agitation against the CBI for not doing much in the case. Singha is also contesting assembly poll from Theog –which was the first town to witness violence that also spread to Kotkhai –where the mob set afire local police station on July 19.