2.5 years passed by, Gudiya still screams for justice
Tikender Singh Panwar
IMAGINE if the Hyderabad style of justice was delivered to the accused in the Gudiya rape and murder case in Shimla by killing him, a gross violation of human rights would have happened. The revelations made in the Gudiya case exhibits serious lapse in the investigation by CBI and contradiction between the Himachal Pradesh Police(HPP) and the CBI.
Gudiya case resolved! So said the CBI in 2018 and bursted the claim of the Himachal Pradesh Police(HPP) for falsely implicating five ‘innocent’ people, as according to the CBI, it was not a gang rape. Rather, a rape and murder committed by a single person.
The CBI arrested the accused-individual and exonerated all of those who were arrested by the HPP in Gudiya rape and murder case. Just to set a reminder of the facts; one of the accused Sooraj, arrested by the HPP died in police custody and hence a separate FIR of custodial death was also registered.
The CBI worked on the basic premise that the Himachal police was hand in glove with the accused and hence a custodial death was an outcome of such connivance. Just to bring a fact to the fore; the so called accused who allegedly connived with the HPP to ensure that shoddy investigation is done, comes from a very humble background. It is beyond imagination to believe that the police tried to protect him and connived and hence wrongly arrested the five accused.
The CBI arrested top officials of the Himachal Police including the IG (inspector general), SP(superintendent of police) Shimla, DSP(deputy superintendent of police) Theog and the police station incharge of Kotkhai along with some other policemen. The charge on the police personnel is that they conspired and killed Suraj in the police lock up as the person who killed ‘Gudiya’ was so powerful that the top officials had to conspire to protect him. The matter is still sub-judice, hence it is appropriate to not to write beyond that for the moment. But the bottom line is that nobody since beginning believed the story of the CBI.
CFSL BELIES CBI CLAIM
The entire story of the CBI and the premise that there was only one accused in the commission of the crime of raping and killing Gudiya got completely demolished after the revelations made through the CFSL(central forensic science laboratory) report was made public. This report has pointed out that it was a gang rape and more than one person was involved in the heinous crime. So, now at this juncture when the matter is pending in the court because of this new revelation what is going to happen to the case, nobody is sure of it. The parents of Gudiya, meanwhile have met the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh and asked for a judicial probe into the case.
There are some uneasy questions that the CBI will have to answer.
Firstly, form day one when the Gudiya case was transferred to the CBI by the Himachal government the ‘premier investigation agency’ was determined to prove that the HPP has done a shoddy investigation and that the police have messed up with the evidences badly. Instead of focussing on the Gudiya murder case the CBI seemed more interested in the custodial death case and nabbing the top officialsof the police. Nobody was prepared to believe, both the police and the CBI stories. The police story was that the two accused fought against each other and hence one died in police lock up, which was utterly despicable. The perception was that the police only killed one of the accused in the lock up, however they tried to hush up the case and found an easy target in the form of a co-accused for killing Sooraj.
Also, the story of CBI was unbelievable that the HPP killed Sooraj in the police lock up because they(Himachal police) had conspired from top to bottom to ensure that the investigation in Gudiya murder case is botched up so that the accused is let off. It was beyond comprehension that the officers of the highest level were involved in it.
Secondly, the uneasy questions to the CBI also come from the fact as to why the CBI discarded the brain mapping of the accused persons who were arrested by the HPP. Just a glance at the report of the brain mapping brings to the fore some of the important experiential knowledge of the accused persons who were allegedly involved in the crime. There was corroborative evidence to this experiential knowledge of the accused, which was developed during the investigation by Himachal police. Why is it then that the CBI discarded it out rightly? Who was it trying to protect or was it not even interested to even investigate on the Gudiya murder case?
Just a cursory look at the interpretation is sufficient to follow the lead;
“Responses to the probes in the form of Experiential knowledge indicate that Lokhan possess the experiential knowledge. He had seen that she has worn white salwar”. Rajendra caught her both legs.” “He second time consumed Himalayan Orangewine in the jungle.” “He lost his control seeing Gudiya’s naked body.” While he was pulling Gudiya’s nikkar she hit him by her leg so.” Deepak caught Gudiya’s both hands.” On seeing naked Gudiya screaming.” “I was afraid”.
Experiential knowledge(EK) of the same facts come out in the brain mapping of Rajender, where he mentions fact about “white salwar of Gudiya” and further said that “Sooraj forcefully pulled Gudiya’s hand”. Another fact that has come to the fore is regarding “Sudarshan Gutka”. The same EK has been proven with brain mapping of another accused Ashish Chauhan.
In the image above there are several such instances, which the investigating agency could not have overlooked. Then why is it that the CBI chose a different path is best for them to answer.
The facts do not end here. The brain mapping gets further corroborated with recovery evidence from the site. These three important evidences, which the CBI could not have brushed aside are: “White Salwar; Country liquor Himalayan Orange; and Sudarshan gutka”. With such incriminating evidences corroborating from the brain mapping, the theory that it was an act of a single individual loses merit.
WAS POLITICS AROUND
It is a very pertinent question as just five months after the Gudiya murder and rape case the state was going to the polls in December 2017. The state government was run by an ailing Virbhadra Singh who was losing command and the central government by the BJP who were more than determined to capture the state. As a natural corollary the failure of the Himachal police in investigating the Gudiya murder case and various disasters that it did during the investigations were politically seen as abject failure of Congress party. In fact, the BJP in its manifesto made it one of the important issues and termed the Congress rule as a failure to protect the girl children. Quite naturally the people of the state were also fed up with the kind of environment and the callous attitude of the state government and were keen to bring it down. Massive protests were witnessed on the streets not just in Shimla but throughout the state.
It is for the CBI to answer now whether it was getting guided by the central government to tarnish the image of the state government, which definitely was at an abysmal low at that time or it fairly conducted the investigations, and erred by its own judgement.
The truth is that the citizens have become more sceptical over the investigating agencies. The fear of strict laws to ensure that such incidents prove to be deterrence also does not prove true; the recent rape and murder of a 27-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad exposes it all. But all the more worrying is the way the investigating agencies are behaving. The Telangana police which allegedly killed all the four accused in cold blood, stating that they were attacked by the accused while effecting a recovery is unbelievable and gruesome. Imagine if the same treatment would have been meted out to the accused in the Gudiya case; the revelations prove that he may not be even involved in the crime. Well this does not mean that the four arrested in the Hyderabad case were innocent, but a fair trial is a must and extra judicial killings a real threat. “If justice delayed is justice denied, then justice hurried is justice buried”.
Back in Shimla and Himachal, now what will the government do; will it open the investigation again in the wake of recent revelations and at the time when the matter is pending in the trial court or will it just allow the time to pass and wait for another such incident to happen!