Himachal IG suspended again in custodial death case

Shimla, Jan 16 (PTI) The Himachal Pradesh government has again suspended Inspector General of Police ZH Zaidi in a custodial death case, DGP Sitaram Mardi said Thursday.

Zaidi was suspended in 2017 after his arrest in connection with the custodial death of a Nepalese national in the Gudia rape and murder case.

The state government had revoked his suspension in November last year. Earlier, it had rejected the application for revoking his suspension thrice. Commenting on the development on the sidelines of a farewell function for Assembly Speaker Rajeev Bindal, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said Zaidi was suspended on Wednesday.

The CM said he was suspended as former Shimla SP Soumya Sambasivan in a written statement before a CBI court in Chandigarh had alleged that Zaidi pressured her over the phone to change her statement in the custodial death case.

Thakur said the CBI forwarded the written statement of Sambasivan to the state DGP, who in turn sent it to state government, which decided to place him again under suspension.

Zaidi was posted as the CEO of the the state Wakf Board after his suspension was revoked last year.

Eight police personnel, including IG Zaidi and DSP Manoj Joshi, were arrested by the CBI on August 29, 2017 while former Shimla SP DW Negi was arrested on November 16, 2017 in connection with the custodial death. Suraj, an accused in the Gudia rape and murder case, had died at the Kotkhai police station in July 2017.

Gudia (16) had gone missing in Kotkhai on July 4, 2017 and her body was found from the Halaila forests two days later. The autopsy had confirmed rape and murder.

Following a public outcry, a special investigation team, headed by Zaidi, was set up by the then Congress government. The SIT arrested six people and after the custodial death of Suraj, the High Court handed over the investigation of both cases to the CBI. PTI DJI ABH RDK RDK