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Rape Accused Killed in Himachal Police Custody, Protests Rock Kotkhai

A Class X student was raped and murdered at the Kotkhai area of Shimla district on July 4 after she took a lift in a vehicle driven by one of the accused. The BJP has announced a district-wide protest and threatened a Shimla bandh.

Jyoti Kamal | CNN-News18jyotik

Updated:July 20, 2017, 6:55 AM IST
Rape Accused Killed in Himachal Police Custody, Protests Rock Kotkhai
Image for representation. (Reuters)
Shimla: Two jawans were injured in stone-pelting by an angry mob at a police station on Wednesday where a suspect in the Kotkhai rape and murder case allegedly killed a co-accused. The mob also tried to set the police station on fire.

The BJP has announced a district-wide protest on Thursday and threatened a Shimla bandh. Party MP Anurag Thakur also raised the issue in Parliament on Wednesday.

Himachal Pradesh BJP leaders JP Nadda and Shanta Ram met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the issue. The state’s Governor was to meet the state DGP at 5pm.

On Tuesday night, Rajender, alias Raju, an accused in the case, had a heated exchange with Suraj. Raju then allegedly banged Suraj's head against a wall and he died.

IG Southern range, Z H Zaidi, said Suraj had narrated the entire sequence leading to the rape to the police and named Raju, the driver of the pickup van, as the main accused.

Following the killing, the entire staff of the Kotkhai Police Station has been shifted and recommendation for a judicial inquiry into the custodial death has been made, PTI reported.

Additional police force has been rushed to Kotkhai to handle the law and order situation.

A Class X student was raped and murdered at the Kotkhai area of Shimla district on July 4 after she took a lift in a vehicle driven by one of the accused Rajender.

Six people have been arrested in connection with the case. The accused have been identified as Ashish Chauhan (29), Rajender Singh alias Raju (32), Subhash Singh Bisht (42), Lok Jan (19), Suraj Singh (29) and Deepak (38).

Case Timeline

July 4: A 16-year-old girl from Kotkhai, 56 km from Shimla, goes missing while on her way back home from school

July 5: Relatives, villagers and the police launch a massive manhunt to find her

July 6: The girl's body is found in the forest, around five kilometres from her home. Medical examination confirms rape and death by asphyxiation. The police register case under sections 302, 376 and Section 4 of the POCSO Act

July 7: Protests in Kothkai and Shimla over the heinous act

July 8: Villagers demand swift action and set a five-day deadline for the arrest of the accused

July 9: The Himachal Pradesh government constitutes a Special Investigation Team headed by the Inspector General of Police (South) Zahur Zaidi

July 12: Six people were detained for questioning

July 13: Ashish Chauhan, engineering student and son of a prominent orchard owner, arrested

July 13: Remaining five also arrested. Police say they have “technical, circumstantial, physical, confessional and forensic evidence” against all the six arrested

July 14: Mob surrounds police station at Theog and also block NH-22 claiming that the police are shielding “influential real culprits”

July 14: Virbhadra Singh government orders CBI probe into the case

July 18: Protests continue in Shimla and Kotkhai with villagers blocking traffic and demanding exemplary punishment for the accused
| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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