Shimla: Embarrassment for the Himachal Pradesh police, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrested Inspector-General of Police, Zahoor H Zaidi, DSP Manoj Joshi and six other police personnel in connection of alleged custodial death of a gang-rape and murder accused in Shimla.

They will be produced before a court on Wednesday.

In connection with the school girl rape and murder case, the local police had arrested six accused Ashish Chauhan (29), Rajender Singh (32), Subhash Singh Bisht (42), Surat Singh (Nepali) (29). Lokjan (Nepali), age 19 years and Deepak (38) under section 302, 376 IPC & 4 of POCSO Act at PS Kotkhai. Police, in its media brief, had claimed that these six accused had kidnapped girl, who was on her way home from school on July 4, raped her and the strangled her before disposing of her body in the forest. The body was found two days later on 6th July.

Suraj, who was lodged in the Kotkhai police lockup with prime accused Rajendra Singh, died in the night of July 18, five days after he was arrested. Dissatisfied with the police version over the custodial death, statewide protest triggered blaming police for implicating innocents and shielding real culprits on the behest of some powerful people.

Following the massive statewide protest for allegedly mishandling the case by the state police and reportedly covering up to protect the main culprits and custodial killing of one of accused, the Himachal Pradesh High Court entrusted the case to the CBI.

The CBI, as per High Court orders, has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by Superintendent of Police and an Addl. SP & a Dy. SP and taken over the investigation of both the cases, and registered two FIRs pertain to gang rape and murder of the school girl and the custodial death of the accused.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.