DHARAMSHALA: The government will fully cooperate with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Kotkhai rape case, said Himachal Pradesh Law Minister Suresh Bhardwaj on Wednesday.
The minister said that maintaining law and order is the top priority of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led state government.
“The government is committed to providing all assistance to the CBI. Maintaining law and order is one of the top priorities of the government. Gudiya murder case is a blot on the face of Himachal Pradesh,” Bhardwaj told ANI.
“Previous government had referred the case to the CBI on the directions of the high court but created hurdles in the probe. We would like the CBI should probe the case speedily and expose the real culprits,” he added.
The Law Minister’s comments came after the CBI filed an affidavit along with a fresh status report in the Himachal Pradesh High Court on the sensational gangrape and murder of a minor girl in Shimla earlier this year.
The CBI in its report also expressed displeasure on non-cooperation of the state government in the case.
The court has fixed March 28 for further hearing in the matter.
Earlier, in November last year, the CBI had filed a charge-sheet in the case of custodial death of an accused in Kotkhai rape and murder case.
The case involves eight policemen, including Inspector General of Police Zahur H Zaidi.
The brutal gangrape and murder of a schoolgirl at Kotkhai in Shimla in July created a huge uproar in the state.
The 16-year-old victim was returning back from school when she went missing on July 4. 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- Suraj Singh, a Nepali national- died in police custody.
Other arrested accused are Rajender Singh alias Raju, driver-cum-orchard manager; Ashish Chauhan, son of an orchardist; Subhash Singh Bisht and Deepak (both from Uttrakhand) and Lokjan alias Chottu, who is a Nepali national.
Earlier in July, the Himachal Pradesh High Court transferred the two cases to the CBI after the custodial death of Suraj Singh came to light.
On August 29, the CBI arrested eight policemen, Zaidi, who was heading the Special Investigation Team probing the crime; Deputy Superintendent Manoj Joshi; and former Station House Officer Rajinder Singh, a Sub-Inspector; Assistant Sub-Inspector Deep Chand; head Constables- Surat Singh, Mohan Lal, and Rafiq Ali and Constable Ranjit Streta.
On November 16, the CBI summoned D W Negi, former Superintendent of Police Shimla who was initially supervising the investigation in the rape and murder case before the setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT).