Key accused in Gudiya rape-murder case gets life term for murder bid

Additional sessions judge at Nahan Jaswant Singh, on Sunday sentenced Anil Kumar to life imprisonment in a case of sexual harassment and assault on a Nepalese woman of Pacchad in 2014. A penalty of Rs 25,000 was also imposed on him.

Kumar is also the main accused in the infamous Gudiya case where a 16-year-old girl of Kotkhai was murdered after being raped in July 2017.

The incident dates back to 2014 when Kumar attacked the woman with a billhook knife when she was grazing cattle in the forest area. On seeing the woman alone, the accused assaulted the woman and when she resisted, he snatched the billhook knife from her and attacked her, said additional district attorney Ekalaya Singh.

The woman suffered grievous injuries in the attack. She was found unconscious in the forest by her relatives who later called for the emergency ambulance services. She was hospitalised to the civil hospital in Sarahan and later referred to the regional hospital in Nahan.

Police had recorded statements of the woman after she was discharged from the hospital. Kumar was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation for the rape and murder of a Class 10 girl who was found dead in the Halaila forest in Kotkhai on July 6, 2017, two days after she was reported missing.

The CBI had arrested a 25-year-old lumberjack identified by DNA testing who allegedly raped and killed a 16-year-old girl in Kotkhai near Shimla, exonerating six people arrested by Himachal Pradesh Police in the case.

The rape and murder of the schoolgirl led to widespread protests in the state and when one of the six suspects arrested by the state police, Suraj Kumar, died in custody, allegedly after he was severely beaten, protests intensified and led to the case being transferred to the CBI. The probe was divided into two parts. One pertained to the custodial death of one of the six suspects arrested by state police and the second focused on the rape and murder of the girl.

In the case of the custodial death of Suraj Singh, the agency charge-sheeted nine policemen including an officer of the rank of inspector general, charging them with murder, wrongful confinement.

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