Himachal rape case: One of the six accused dies in police custody

Shimla, July 20: Even as public outrage in the Kotkhai rape and murder case refuses to die down, one of the six accused in the crime, identified as Surat Singh, died in police custody in Kotkhai on Wednesday morning.

Image Source

On July 13, police had claimed a breakthrough in the rape and murder of a minor school girl whose naked body was found in isolated woods in Kotkhai tehsil’s Halaila village. The six accused were identified as Ashish Chauhan (29), Rajinder Singh (32) of Sharaal village, Subash Singh Bisht (42) of Pauri Garhwal, Surat Singh (29) of Nepal, Lok Jan (19) of Nepal and Deepak (38) of Garhwal. Bisht is a priest in a temple at Pauri Garhwal. They were produced before a court in Theog and sent to seven-day police remand.

All the six arrested were kept in police custody in Kotkhai. The police is tight-lipped over the matter but sources have confirmed to Hindustan Times that Singh, a Nepalese national, died due to “strangulation”. His body is being brought to IGMC, Shimla, for postmortem.

“Surat Singh has died,” confirmed Shimla superintendent of police (SP) DW Negi.

Succumbing to public pressure, the Himachal government on Friday ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the case that has seen massive public outrage with a mob vandalising police vehicles outside the Theog police station. Calling the six arrests an “eyewash”, the crowd was demanding a CBI probe.

Unprecedented scenes are being witnessed in Himachal, with people thronging to the Mall Road in Shimla demanding accountability on part of the government. Locals even threw stones at the Kotkhai police station on Wednesday.

Source Hindustan Times