- NL Sena
Protests have erupted in Himachal Pradesh following the death of one of the accused in the rape and murder of a Class 10 school girl, whose body was found on July 6, in Halaila forest, two days after she she was reported missing. According to reports, people took to the streets on learning that the accused, Nepalese national Surat Singh, was allegedly strangled by another suspect, Rajendra Singh, during a scuffle inside the lock-up around 3am on Wednesday. Protesters blocked the highway connecting the town to the capital and the whole city has been shut down.
Reports claim that protesters pelted stones at police and set fire to the police station in Kotkhai. “Police fired two rounds in air and used mild lathicharge to disperse the crowd. Two policemen and a civilian were injured in the protests,” reported The Indian Express.
After post-mortem reports confirmed that the girl was raped and strangled, on July 14, hundreds of women from Kotkhai had gathered and sat on the Hindustan-Tibet National Highway, demanding a CBI probe into the case. Amid mounting pressures, the Himachal Pradesh government announced an immediate transfer of the case to CBI. The entire staff of Kotkhai police station, including the station house inspector, were suspended following the custodial death.