In a sudden & belated move the CBI arrested DW Negi who was SP Shimla and second-in-command in the SIT (Special Investigation Team) constituted by Himachal’s Congress Government to unravel the tragic Gudiya rape & murder mystery which rocked this otherwise peaceful State of Himachal in July 2017.
With this arrest, virtually the whole SIT which was supposed to provide justice to Gudiya is behind bars.
The then IG police Zahur Haidar Zaidi along with the DSP & six other policemen who were a part of the SIT are already under arrest & being probed for the past two and a half months. The then SP (city) DW Negi, in a hurriedly arranged press conference along with SIT head Zaidi, had categorically stated that 2 Gorkha labourers Raju & Suraj along with 4 other accomplices had been arrested in the gory rape & murder of Gudiya and that it was an open & shut case.
It was only the public fury & backlash, which witnessed the burning of a police Station in Theog, the constituency of octagenarian politician & a Minister in CM Virbhadra’s cabinet Vidya Stokes, in addition to widespread protests in Shimla & elsewhere that forced Virbhadra to request for a CBI enquiry. The High Court intervened in the matter and asked the CBI to take over the investigation. The CBI has now requested for the voice samples of the accused, and more skeletons could still fall from the cupboard. The CBI has filed 2 FIRs in the case, one for the Gudiya rape & murder and the other for the custodial death of Suraj.
Former SP DW Negi was in the thick of the storm & drew the wrath of the public for his dubious role in the whole investigation, particularly the custodial death of Suraj under mysterious circumstances. Amidst growing public outrage against him he was shifted to the vigilance department of the police instead of being suspended, which showed his clout with the political bosses.
What were the compulsions & inducements that turned the SIT of a State from a probing agency into a now being probed agency for its own nefarious & notorious role in the whole sordid saga, is the question on everyone’s mind .
Was their any political pressure that led to the the whole investigation being sabotaged & derailed?
Whatever made the SIT act in the manner in which it did, was an embarrassment for the government apart from bringing ignominy to the whole police force in the State. The Chief Minister tried to wash his hands off the whole episode by calling for a CBI investigation, exposing the flaws of his State police which ironically was under him as he also held the home portfolio.
It remains to be seen how much of a factor the Gudiya rape & murder case will be in the minds of the people, and only the election results on December 18 will provide an insight into that. The Shimla district has 8 seats and has been a traditional Congress bastion & it remains to be seen if the public outcry & ire which was witnessed in the aftermath of this horrendous crime gets converted into votes for the BJP which made it a poll issue.
However, it is only hoped that the real perpetrators of this heinous crime are arrested and dealt with severely as per the provisions of the law.
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