A major development has come up after the Gudiya rape case was handed over to the CBI in July. CBI has arrested the IG of Police and 7 other policemen in the matter of alleged murder of one of the rape suspects in police custody. The arrested police personnel include Inspector General Zahoor Haider Zaidi, DSP Manoj Joshi, Rajinder Singh, Ex-SHO ASI Kotkhai Deep Chand Sharma, head constables Sural Singh, Mohan Lal, Rafiq Ali and constable Ranjit Singh.
CBI had issued 2 FIRs against them on July 6 and July 19. On July 19, IG Police Zaidi was removed as the chief of SIT. The arrested policemen were presented in the competent court, Shimla today and were taken into custody there itself.
The family of the victim had accused the police earlier of hiding evidences against the real rape suspects who, according to them, are quite high profile and roaming freely. They had requested for a CBI probe into the case which wasn’t granted immediately. This followed protests by common people all over the state, especially in Shimla. The case was eventually handed over to the CBI.
Suraj Singh from Nepal was killed in police custody by one of the other suspects, Rajinder Singh, as was reported by the police. After going through the case in and out, CBI has now arrested 8 police officers in the same case.
Inspector General Zahoor Haider Zaidi was earlier accused of not cooperating with the CBI as told on 24th August. He was the member of the Special Investigation Team of Himachal Pradesh Police. The Counsel for the CBI, Mr. Anshul Bansal said that the Special Investigation Unit of CBI mentioned before a division bench of Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Sandeep Sharma that SIT members were not cooperating with them and that orders should be passed to them to assist the SIU.
Keeping this in mind, the court has ordered the CBI to present valid application for issuing these orders before the court on the next hearing date of the case which is 6th September.
On the other hand, another rape suspect has pleaded not guilty in the court. Ashish Chauhan, 29, is an engineering student in Bengaluru. He was arrested along with the other 5 suspects with charge for raping a minor girl in Kotkhai. In his context, the high court has ordered CBI to present relevant reports by 11 September. While the CBI has pleaded to present the reports in a sealed cover, the court has granted permission for the same.
Meanwhile, protests have again begun against the police regarding the Kotkhai rape case due to their non-cooperation as well as alleged hiding of important reports and documents from the CBI.
The arrested policemen are remanded to custody till September 4. It will be interesting to see what evidences does the CBI come up with in the next hearing at the court as major obstacles to the case, the policemen hiding important documents related to the case, have now been put behind bars to enable unbiased investigation.