Himachal Police officer held over custodial death hospitalised

A senior IPS officer arrested by the CBI, along with seven other policemen, over the custodial death of an accused in the sensational gangrape and murder of a scool girl in the district, was hospitalised on Wednesday, an official said.

Inspector General (IG) Zahur H. Zaidi, who was heading the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the gangrape-cum-murder case, was admitted to the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital (IGMCH) as he complained of chest pain, a senior police official told IANS.

He said that after undergoing tests, he was advised hospitalisation.

Zaidi, who was earlier heading the SIT probing the gruesome crime, is currently in judicial custody, along with seven other police personnel, on charges of negligence of duty, which allegedly led to death of one of the accused in police lock-up.

They were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which took over the investigation on August 29.

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, 56 km 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 arrested persons are prime accused Rajinder Singh, who offered her the lift, Ashish Chauhan, Subhash Bisht, Deepak Kumar, Suraj Singh and Lokjan. They are believed to have been drunk at the time of committing the crime.

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

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

Following the gangrape of the girl, people held massive protests in the state. The family of the victim alleged that the “real culprits” from high-profile families, had gotten away “scot free”.

Later, on the plea of the state government, the state High Court recommended a CBI probe into the case.

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