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DGP to monitor rape probe

Jharkhand High Court on Thursday asked director-general of police Rajeev Kumar to personally supervise investigations into the alleged rape-and-murder of a six-year-old Doranda girl that had rocked the state capital last April. Kumar has also been told to ensure that the probe is taken over by a SP-ranked officer.

The orders came from a division bench of Chief Justice R. Banumathi and Justice P.P. Bhatt, who are hearing a public interest litigation initiated suo motu into the case. Earlier, the high court had expressed exasperation over the tardy pace of the probe and had ordered the DGP to change the investigating officer.

Investigating officer Subodh Kumar Srivastava had submitted a closure report against the accused. But when the matter came before the high court and the DGP was asked to change the officer, Srivastava presented another report that said the accused had committed the crime.

The flip-flop prompted the bench to observe that the same investigating officer had presented two versions and there was no change in the pattern of investigations done.

“The matter ought to be investigated by a responsible and senior officer, preferably a SP-rank officer, who will work any fear or favour,” the bench said.

The Class II student, who lived in Doranda, where the high court is situated, went missing on April 24 last year. After a frantic search, her mutilated body was recovered from an under-construction site opposite her home on April 25.

Three persons — Taufique, Rizwan and Saddam — were arrested and released on bail.