CBI gets time to submit report on Shimla gang rape-murder case

Pulling up the CBI for its probe into the gang-rape and murder of a 16-year-old schoolgirl in Shimla district in July was progressing at a “snail’s pace”, the Himachal Pradesh High Court on Wednesday granted another two weeks to file status report into the investigation.

The court, listed the matter for the next hearing on September 21, also asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that who was leaking the details about the probe to the media.

During the resumed hearing, a division bench of Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Sandeep Sharma directed the CBI to expedite the investigation and not to reveal anything substantial that was not brought before the court.

The CBI submitted its third status report in the high court, which it said was still not complete as the investigation was in progress.

CBI counsel Anshul Bansal told reporters the investigating agency sought four week of time to file the status report.

He said the CBI also moved an application to seek copy of personal affidavits furnished by eight members of the Special Investigating Team (SIT) of the state police that was earlier probing the case.

Director General of Police Somesh Goel submitted an additional affidavit stating the role of the state police in the case.

Police said the 16-year-old victim girl was offered a lift in a vehicle by the accused on July 4 when she was returning home from school in Kotkhai town, some 56 from the state capital.

On the way, they raped and murdered her in a nearby forest. Her naked body with injury marks was found two days later.

The autopsy report mentioned injuries on the girl’s body.

The arrested persons are prime accused Rajinder Singh, who offered her the lift, Ashish Chauhan, Subhash Bisht, Deepak Kumar, Suraj Singh and Lokjan.

However, a new twist in the case came after Rajinder Singh allegedly murdered a fellow accused Suraj Singh in the police lock-up on July 19.

The CBI arrested eight policemen, including an IPS officer, on August 29 for the custodial death of Suraj Singh.

The policemen included Inspector General (IG) Zahur H. Zaidi, who was heading the Special Investigation Team probing the crime, and Deputy Superintendent Manoj Joshi.

Following the gang rape of the girl, people held massive protests in Himachal Pradesh. The family of the victim alleged that the “real culprits”, who belong to high-profile families, have gotten away scot-free.

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