Complete gang rape probe in two weeks, Himachal HC tells CBI
Shimla, August 2 (IANS): The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Wednesday directed the CBI to complete, within two weeks, the probe into the sensational gang rape and murder of a 16-year-old schoolgirl in Shimla district, which led to led to massive protests in the state.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sought three months time to complete the investigation, but a division bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Sandeep Sharma directed it to submit the final report by August 17, the next date of hearing.
The CBI, during resumed hearing, also submitted its preliminary report regarding the ongoing investigation in a sealed cover to the court.
The high court, which has taken cognizance of the rape and murder of the girl, on July 19 directed the CBI to set up, within two days, a three-member special investigation team, headed a Superintendent of Police-level officer, to probe the case.
The court order came on a plea of the state government, urging it to direct the CBI to take over the investigation.
Police said the teenager 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 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 here on July 19.
Following the gang rape, massive protests were held across the state while the victim’s family alleged that the “real culprits”, who belong to high-profile families, have gotten away “scot-free”.