Shimla: Two weeks after a teen girl in Himachal Pradesh was gang-raped and killed in an apple orchard, the main suspect has allegedly killed another man arrested for the crime by smashing his head on the floor of the police station where they were being held.
- Himachal schoolgirl found raped and killed earlier this month
- 6 arrested; main accused killed another suspect today, say cops
- Her family says the real culprits are from powerful families
As word of the murder spread, angry residents of Kotkhai, located about 55 km from the capital of Shimla, forced their way into the police station and attacked cops for allowing the death of one of the six men accused of the gang-rape and murder which was committed on July 4. The mob damaged property at the police station and refused to allow injured policemen to be moved to hospital, reports news agency IANS.
The family of the schoolgirl whose body was found in a forest two days after she was reported missing claims that the "real culprits" are from influential families. Last week, the state government agreed to recommend that the case be investigated by the CBI after large protests in Shimla, but a formal request was not made. The case was finally handed over to the CBI by the Himachal Pradesh High Court on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the state government transferred three members of the police Special Investigation Team or SIT which was probing the case, including its chief, Inspector General (southern range) ZH Zaidi.
"Earlier, we were told that the accused belonged to high-profile families and they were on the run," the girl's elder sister told reporters in Kotkhai town.
But then suddenly, the police arrested six persons, including two labourers from Nepal, she said, suggesting that the men who have been arrested are being framed. "We are demanding justice for our sister. Our protests will continue till the real culprits are apprehended," she added. "We were told that the case has been handed over to the CBI. But no CBI official has so far started investigation in the case," said the victim's father.
The police say the 16-year-old girl was offered a lift in a vehicle by a man named Rajinder Singh when she was walking home from school. On the way, the men in the car -six in total - raped and murdered her in a nearby orchard. Her body was found two days later on the woods nearby.
The main accused, Rajinder Singh knew the victim and had offered her rides home on earlier occasions, the police said. It was he who killed Surat Singh, a co-accused from Nepal.
"Both of them had a scuffle over some issue and Surat got grievous head injuries. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead," an unnamed police official was quoted as saying by IANS.