With the arrest of IG police Zahur Haidar Zaidi and 7 others including DSP Manoj in the Gudiya rape and murder case by the CBI, all speculation regarding the role of Shimla police have been put to rest.
Zaidi was the head of the SIT (Special Investigation Team) constituted by the Chief Minister to crack the gory rape and murder mystery in the peaceful state of Himachal and that too just 60 kms from the state capital. The arrest of IG Zaidi, an IPS level officer, by the CBI, who was supposed to bring the culprits to book has made a mockery of the whole investigation conducted by the state police.
Right from the outset we have been advocating that the police investigation was a sham and the arrest of the head of the SIT by the CBI vindicates that stand. Eyebrows were raised from the time the state police claimed to have cracked the case at a press conference in Shimla called by Zaidi, where Gorkha labourers were projected as main accused and made scapegoats. Top brass of the state police including the DG and SP were present at the press conference addressed by Zaidi himself.
The custodial death of Suraj who was allegedly killed by his accomplice Raju, or more precisely forced to be killed by Raju, completed the police cover up and hogwash . The public fury spilled onto the streets with strong demonstrations and protests and the torching of a police station at Theog just 40 kms from Shimla.
The Chief Minister who heads the home portfolio remained clueless about the whole incident, showing his helplessness with the State Police by requesting for a CBI enquiry amidst rising protests – but it took the intervention of the High Court to hand over the investigation to the CBI.
The CBI had registered two FIRs – one for the murder and rape of Gudiya, a class 10 student, and the other for the custodial death of Suraj who was named as one of the accused by the SIT.
It must be unprecedented and unparalleled in the history of any state that an IPS level officer heading a sensitive investigation has been found guilty of sabotaging and hijacking that investigation for his own vested interest, with active involvement of his junior officers. As the 8 arrested are produced in court tomorrow more skeletons are sure to tumble out of the cupboard.
What pressures and pulls were at play, and the enticement and inducement that lulled an IPS officer of the rank of Inspector General to get an alleged accused killed by his accomplice in police custody await answers. The killers of Gudiya are obviously influential with money and muscle power at their disposal and have used both to derail the investigation, but now with the CBI at the helm of investigations the jigsaw seems close to being solved.
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