The CBI on Tuesday arrested eight policemen, including an IPS officer, for the custodial death of an accused in the sensational gang rape and murder of a schoolgirl in Shimla district last month, an official said.
The policemen included Inspector General (IG) Zahur H. Zaidi, who was heading the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the crime, and Deputy Superintendent Manoj Joshi.
“We made an arrest of eight policemen, including IG Zahur H. Zaidi,” CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal told IANS over phone from New Delhi.
He said all of them were arrested for the custodial death of an accused.
Police said the 16-year-old girl 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.
The autopsy report mentioned injuries on the girl’s body.
However, a new twist in the case came after Rajinder Singh allegedly murdered fellow accused Surat Singh in the police lock-up in Shimla on July 19.
Following the gang rape of the girl, people held massive protests in Himachal Pradesh. The family of the victim alleged that the “real culprits”, who belong to high-profile families, have gotten away “scot free”.
Later, on the plea of the state government the state High Court recommended a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the case.