Days after the death of a prisoner, who was in the police custody in Kotkhai, 60 km away from Shimla, several questions still continue to remain unanswered. The incident had triggered protests across the state. As per Indian Express report, the victim, Suraj Singh, a Nepalese national, who was one of the accused in gangrape and murder of a 16-year-old schoolgirl, was attacked, allegedly by main accused Rajendra Singh alias Raju. Among the questions that are being raised is whether any of the other accused had not seen or heard him being attacked and why didn’t Subhash, who shared the cell with both of them raise an alarm, report added. Earlier this month on July 19, next day after Suraj’s death, protesters had set the police station ablaze. While alleging foul play, they accused the police of protecting the real accused.
The CBI, which was earlier probing the gangrape incident, has been asked to probe the custodial death as well. The probing agency has also asked the Superintendent of Police (Shimla) to “preserve the police station as crime scene” till they visit the police station along with forensic experts. According to the police version, a fight broke out between Suraj and Raju, during which the later banged his head on the floor, leaving him dead by the time the scuffle was noticed by a guard. He called out to Station House Officer (SHO) Rajender Singh and others. At around 12 am, the victim was taken to a hospital at Kotkhai, where he was declared “brought dead,” the paper said.
The cell where the trio was kept was a metre away from the munshi’s (record keeper) room and less than five metres from where the SHO sits usually. It was also right next to the entrance. Therefore suspicion is being raised on the police version of the incident.