In a major breakthrough, a special investigation team (SIT) probing the July 4 rape-and-murder of a school girl in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh today arrested six people, including a 19-year-old man.
The rape-and-murder of the Class X student in Kotkhai area of Shimla district sparked state-wide outrage. Her body was recovered from a nearby forest two days later.
Addressing mediapersons here, Director General of Police (DGP) Somesh Goyal said, "We have technical, forensic, physical, circumstantial and confessional evidence against these accused and the SIT is in the process of collecting more evidence to strengthen the case."
Police said all the accused had been living in Kotkhai area for quite some time.
The arrested were Ashish Chauhan alias Ashu (29), a resident of Sharaal village in Mahasu area of Kotkhai; Rajender Singh alias Raju (32), the driver of a pick-up vehicle and a resident of Hiliala village; 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.
Goyal said the crime was not pre-planned. All the accused were drunk when the picked up the girl in Raju's vehicle, he said.
Eighty-four people were questioned and call details of 28 people were screened in the course of the investigation, the police chief said.
The investigation led the police to Ashish, who was then arrested. Police arrested the other accused following interrogation of Ashish.
Referring to some photographs which have been doing the rounds of social networking sites and apps, the DGP appealed to people not to circulate unverified news and photographs related to the case on social media.
Such posts can attract civil and criminal liability, he said, apart from making the case more complicated.
He also requested people of the state to have patience and trust in the police.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)