The rape-murder of a teenage girl snowballs into an indictment of the Congress government
They’re calling her ‘Gudiya’. The rape and murder of a 16-year-old schoolgirl on July 4 has stirred the Shimla hills like never before with the public outrage threatening to bring down the Congress government, just months before fresh assembly polls.
A student of Class X at the government school at Mahasu, some 5 km from her hilltop village in the Kotkhai area, the girl went missing on her way home on July 4 afternoon. Two days later, relatives found her body in a forest not far from where she lived. Although a case was registered, police only swung into action after images of the stripped naked dead body went viral on social media, provoking angry protests in Kotkhai and Shimla.
A week later, on July 13, IG Zahur H. Zaidi, heading the SIT investigating the case, reported the arrest of six suspects. Besides ‘main accused’ Rajinder Singh, manager of a local apple orchard, the others named include Ashish Chauhan, the orchard owner’s son, two daily wage workers from Uttarakhand and two Nepali labourers.
But the protests continued amid wild rumours that the police and the state government were attempting a cover-up to save the ‘actual culprits’. With increasing numbers taking to the streets in Shimla, Kotkhai and Theog, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, in an attempt to lower tempers, agreed to a CBI
CRYING SHAME Protesters out in the streets of Shimla