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Kotkhai rape case: Ninth cop arrested


New Delhi, Nov 16: With eight cops already behind the bars over a custodial death in connection with Kotkhai rape case, the CBI on Thursday arrested D W Negi, a former Superintendent of Police of Shimla, taking the number of arrests to nine.

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The CBI had registered two cases on the direction of the Himachal Pradesh High Court in July this year to probe the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl and the second related to the custodial death of an accused, Suraj Singh, arrested by the Himachal Pradesh Police.

The Central Bureau of Investigation spokesman said that the agency had arrested Negi, former Superintendent of Police, posted at Shimla, in an on going investigation of a case relating to the custodial death of Singh. Negi was produced before the special CBI court which sent him to agency's remand till November 20.

The central probe agency had in August arrested eight Himachal Pradesh Police officials, including Inspector General Z H Zaidi, in connection with the custodial death of Singh, a 29-year-old labourer from Nepal. Singh, who was a suspect in the rape and murder of a minor school girl in the Kotkhai area of Shimla in early July, was among six people arrested by the local police.

He was allegedly killed by a co-accused at the Kotkhai police station last month, triggering a massive public outrage. The CBI, which was later handed over the probe into the case by the Himachal Pradesh High Court, questioned several people before arresting Zaidi, a 1994-batch IPS officer, the then IGP (South) Manoj Joshi, the then Deputy Superintendent of Police, and six other police officials.

The Himachal Pradesh Police had arrested Ashish Chauhan alias Ashu (29), a resident of Sharaal village in Mahasu area of Kotkhai; Rajender Singh alias Raju (32), a driver; Subash Singh Bisht (42) and Deepak alias Deepu (29), both residents of Pauri Garwal; Suraj Singh (29) and Lok Jung alias Chotu (19), both hailing from Nepal.

The minor girl had gone missing after school hours on July 4 from Haliala forest in the Kotkhai area of Shimla district. Her naked body was found in the forest on July 6 and the post-mortem report confirmed rape. The rape case has created furore in the state which went to the polls earlier this month. The case was handed over to the CBI by the Himachal Pradesh High Court on July 19 on the state government's plea amid public outburst against the state police. The CBI had filed two FIRs on July 22.


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