Published: Sat, July 15, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

Himachal Govt. orders CBI probe of gang-rape of minor girl

Himachal Govt. orders CBI probe of gang-rape of minor girl

In a related development, Inspector General of Police Zahur H. Zaidi, heading a Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to probe the case, went on leave on Friday.

However, the relatives of the schoolgirl are doubtful about the STI's investigation and are still seeking justice.

The Congress also joined the clamour for justice for the victim. Chief Secretary V C Pharka conveyed the decision of the government to the sub-divisional magistrate of Theog, Tashi Sandup, over phone and he later announced to the protesting crowd, in the presence of Chopal BJP MLA Balbir Verma, about the government's decision to hand over the probe to the CBI.

The vehicle carrying the accused to Shimla for their medical examination was reportedly attacked by some people, while a large number of people gathered at the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, where the accused were to be taken.

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On July 4, a 16-year-old girl from Kothai, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh was heading back home from her school and was offered a lift by a vehicle driver named Raju.

But this did not satisfy victim's family or the public of Kotkhai, Shimla in any way as they still are of the belief that the real accused might still be on the run.

The police had registered a case under sections 302 (punishment for murder), 376 (punishment for rape) of the IPC and section 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Act in connection with the incident.

The Shimla Press Club took out a candle march to protest against the incident and demanded the immediate arrest of the culprits. There were more 5 men sitting inside the vehicle to which girl accepted the lift.

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The police version has been questioned over the spot where the crime is reported to have taken place. The victim was brutally raped and strangulated to death by the accused.

The accused, aged between 19 and 42, included two persons from Nepal and two persons from Uttarakhand, mainly farm labourers settled in Kotkhai area, where the crime happened.

The difference in the details given out over two days perpetuated a doubt that the police had shielded some people. All six of them were heavily drunk before committing the crime as bottles of alcohol have been recovered from the crime scene by the Shimla Police.

"One accused was arrested yesterday (Wednesday) and five others arrested today (Thursday) in the rape and murder of a girl in Kotkhai (in Shimla district)", he told reporters.

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