In one massive stroke, CBI has arrested the top officers of Himachal Pradesh police in the custodial death of Suraj Singh, the 29-year-old main accused of the Shimla rape and murder case, who died in police custody at Kotkhai.
Those arrested include the top officer of Southern Range, IG Zahroor H Zaidi, DSP Manoj Joshi, the then SHO of Kothai Rajinder Singh, ASI Deep Chand Sharma, two head constables and one constable.
CBI sources say IG Zahoor Zaidi and other police officers have been arrested on suspicion of being involved in the custodial murder of Suraj Singh. The officers reiterate, whether or not they were involved in custodial death will be established during the probe.
The investigating agency had registered two FIRs in the case and have taken over the investigation on the directions of the Himachal Pradesh High Court. The two FIRs pertain to gang rape and murder of the school girl and the custodial death of the accused.
The CBI had done a fresh autopsy of the gang-rape-accused who is a Nepalese national. Sources say Suraj Singh had succumbed to injuries caused during a scuffle in police lock-up. While Himachal Pradesh police insists that the scuffle was with another accused, CBI probe has so far indicated that the role of the police officers need to be looked into.
His death triggered violent protests in Kothai, with a number of Nepalese associations demanding a fair probe into the matter. The rape and murder of a class 10 girl in a normally peaceful Shimla shook the city and many a protest irrupted in the area.
Apart from the custodial death, the ‘shoddy probe’ of the rape and murder case is also being probed by CBI.