A district court in Shimla on Monday sent eight policemen, who were arrested in connection with the custodial death of an accused in the Kothkai rape and murder case, to CBI custody for three days. They will, now, be presented in the court on September 7.
IGP Zahur Haidar Zaidi and DSP (Theog) Manoj Joshi were among eight policemen who had been remanded to CBI custody till September 4 after Suraj Singh, a suspect in the rape-and-murder of a minor school girl in Kotkhai area, died in police custody.
All were members of the SIT, which was set-up to probe the Class-X school girl’s rape and murder case at Halaila village in Shimla district.
Singh, a 29-year-old labourer from Nepal, was among six people arrested by the local police. He was allegedly killed by a co-accused at the police station last month, which sparked a massive public outrage.
Earlier this afternoon, they were produced before Special CBI judge Ranjit Singh on expiry of their seven day remand granted on August 29. They were brought from Delhi on Sunday night and kept at local police station in Boileu Ganj.
The CBI team accompanied by their lawyer moved an application in the court seeking further demand on the grounds that the SIT investigating the case was yet to recover some articles including a baton ( police stick ) and ‘patta’ which was used in beating accused during his interrogation .
Infact, the CBI informed the court that one of the police officer (Rajinder Singh, who was SHO at Kotkhai) was also taken to Kotkhai for the purposes of investigations earlier in the day. After their arrests under section 302 IPC ,the CBI had taken them to Delhi for interrogation .
The lawyer for Zaidi and other accused, who appeared in the court, opposed the remand alleging that the CBI had already taken seven days and now just on the pretext of recovering some articles, the agency was planning to put them to more trauma and harassment, which had already been meted out to senior officers .
Other accused in the case, mainly the police persons, including ASI Deep Chand Sharma, head constable Suraj Singh, Mohan Lal,Rafiq Ali and constable Ranjit Singh.
The CBI is slated to submit a status report to the High Court’s special bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol.
The Class 10th student had disappeared on July 4 and her naked body was recovered from Haliala forests in Kotkhai on July 6. On August 30, the CBI had taken the eight arrested police officials to its headquarters in the national capital for questioning by a Special Investigation Team formed by it.