A court of the Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday sent a 25-year-old suspect in the Kotkhai rape and murder case to judicial custody till May 7. Anil Kumar, a woodcutter, was in police custody so far. He was arrested on April 13 in connection with the rape and murder of a 16-year-old student in the town in Shimla district in July.
The investigative agency on Wednesday said it had arrested Kumar after a sample of his DNA was found to be a 100% match with the genetic material found at the crime scene, PTI reported. The CBI also concluded that Kumar was the only accused in the case, exonerating the six suspects the Himachal Pradesh Police had arrested earlier as their DNA samples did not match. One of the suspects had died in police custody last year.
The CBI had till Wednesday to submit its status report in the case. Last month, the Himachal Pradesh High Court, which is monitoring the investigation, had criticised the agency for its slow pace and summoned the agency’s director.
The Class 10 student was reported missing on July 4 and her body was found two days later. The state police had arrested four Nepalese men and two men from Uttarakhand 10 days after the crime. Suraj Singh, one of the Nepalese suspects, was found dead in custody at the Kotkhai Police Station on July 18. Eight police officers, including an inspector general and a superintendent of police, were arrested for the custodial death, the Hindustan Times reported.
The CBI took over the case on July 21. On January 10, it filed an affidavit and a status report on the case, in which it accused the state government of not cooperating in the investigation. The agency had then charged nine suspects in the case.