NEW DELHI/CHANDIGARH: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday filed a 500-page charge sheet against eight police officials, including Inspector General of Police Zahur H Zaidi, in the Kotkhai custodial death case, related to the death of an accused in the gang rape and murder of a schoolgirl in Shimla district.
Besides Zaidi, the then Deputy SP and SDPO of Theog, Manoj Joshi, then SHO of Kothkai police station, Rajinder Singh, ASI Deep Chand Sharma, Head Constables Surat Singh, Mohan Lal and Rafee Mohammed, and constable Ranjit Streta are named in the charge sheet, official sources said in New Delhi.
The charge sheet was filed under IPC sections relating to criminal conspiracy (120-B), murder (302), voluntarily causing grievous hurt to extort confession (331), voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means (326), wrongful confinement to extort confession (348), fabricating false evidence (195), using evidence known to be false (196), public servant framing incorrect record (218), and causing disappearance of evidence of offence (201), the CBI said.
The charge sheet in the case related to the death of Suraj Singh on the intervening night of July 18 and 19, 2017 at Kotkhai Police Station in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh was filed in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Shimla.
After taking over the investigation, CBI had arrested the eight police officials, including Zaidi, the then Inspector General of Police, Southern Range, in the custodial death case. All the arrested accused are in judicial custody.
After further investigation, CBI arrested the then Superintendent of Police, Shimla, on November 16. He is also in judicial custody and the investigation is continuing. Himachal Pradesh Police had earlier arrested six accused in the murder-cum-rape case. Of these, one had died in allegedly mysterious circumstances in police custody, for which a separate FIR was registered by the local police.
The HP High Court is monitoring the gang rape and custodial death cases and had directed the CBI to file the charge sheet in the custodial death case by November 30. The charge sheet mentions more than 50 witnesses, including the four accused who were lodged with the deceased Suraj when he died in police custody.
The court extended the judicial custody of all nine accused in the case until Dec 7. The case dates back to July 2016, when a 16-year-old victim while returning from school went missing. Two days later, police recovered her body from Halaila forests of Kotkhai. On July 13, six people were arrested on charges of rape and murder and five days later one of the accused- Singh, a Nepali- died in police custody.