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Shimla-gangrape case: Suspect murdered in jail, mob torch police station

A Nepalese labourer accused in the Kotkhai minor girl-rape and murder case has allegedly killed another man arrested for the crime by smashing his head on the floor of the Kotkhai Police Station where they were being held late night of Tuesday.

As word of the murder spread, angry residents of Kothai, located about 55 km from the capital of Shimla, forced their way into the Kotkhai police station and attacked cops for allowing the death of one of the six men accused of the gang-rape and murder which was committed on July 4. The mob ransacked police station and subsequently set it on fire during a violent protest that started on Wednesday morning.

The main suspect, Rajender Singh (32), alias Raju (driver of a pick-up van), in the rape and murder, allegedly killed another suspect in the case, Suraj Singh (29), according to jail authorities.

Raju, along with three other accused, was subsequently shifted to an undisclosed location by the police after the incident around midnight.

Following the killing, the entire staff of the Kotkhai Police Station has been shifted and recommendation for a judicial enquiry into the custodial death has been made.

Additional police force has been rushed to Kotkhai to tackle the law and order situation as it is feared that it would add fuel to the public rage over the rape incident.

A Class X student was raped and murdered at the Kotkhai area of Shimla district on July 4 after she took a lift in a vehicle driven by one of the accused Rajender.

The body of the victim was recovered from the nearby Halila forest two days later. Six persons were arrested in connection with the case.

Police said Rajender alias Raju had heated exchanges with the Nepalese, Suraj, in the lockup RPT lockup and a scuffle ensued. Raju then allegedly banged Surajs head against a wall and he died.

IG Southern range Z H Zaidi said Suraj had narrated the entire sequence leading to the rape incident and named Raju, the driver of the pickup, as the main accused.

The police is already facing a lot of criticism for tardy investigation and protests are continuing in Kotkhai, Shimla and other places demanding justice for the minor girl.

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