Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today ordered a CBI probe into the rape-and- murder of a minor girl as an irate mob went on a rampage at Theog, around 30 kilometres from the state capital here. The mob damaged government vehicles, laid siege to a police station and blocked the Hindustan-Tibet National Highway for hours demanding a CBI probe into the case. The minor girl, a class X student, was allegedly raped and murdered at the Kotkhai area of Shimla district on July 4.
The body of the victim was recovered from the nearby Halila forest two days later. Himachal Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) Somesh Goyal had yesterday claimed to have solved the case with the arrest of all the six accused, but there were still doubts in the minds of some that the case was being hushed up by the police. The mob alleged that the real culprits were not arrested as they belonged to influential families. The mob allegedly roughed up the Shimla Superintendent of Police (SP), damaged his vehicle and those of the Sub- Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Theog and Station House Officer (SHO), Theog, who took shelter inside the police station to escape its fury. The vehicle carrying the accused to Shimla for their medical examination was reportedly attacked by some people, while a large number of people gathered at the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, where the accused were to be taken. Taking note of the sensitive nature of the case, the chief minister, who returned to the state capital today after a two-day visit to Kullu, took stock of the situation and ordered a CBI probe into the case. Terming the protest and violence at Theog as "politically motivated", Singh said a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was formed to nab the culprits and it had succeeded in its task. "The mayhem and incidents of destroying public property at Theog today were politically motivated. Instead of sympathising with the family of the victim, the matter is being given a political colour," he alleged. Singh said the government had decided to refer the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), so that there was no doubt in anyone's mind regarding its intention to ensure a free-and-fair probe. The police had registered a case under sections 302 (punishment for murder), 376 (punishment for rape) of the IPC and section 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Act in connection with the incident.
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