Kothkai custodial death case: Himachal IG Zaidi taken into custody

The suspended Inspector General of Police (IGP), Zahur Haider Zaidi, an accused in the Kotkhai custodial death case, was Friday taken into custody after a special CBI court here cancelled his bail. Zaidi had been granted bail by the Supreme Court last year. The CBI had moved an application in the special court for the cancellation of his bail and the issuance of an arrest warrant.

A prosecution witness and SP-rank officer Soumya Sambasivan, in her statement before the trial court, earlier this month had said that she was being pressured by Zaidi to change her statement in an attempt to influence the trial. The bail orders are usually conditional and subject to not influencing the witnesses and tampering with any evidence.

“Sambasivan has specifically made the allegations by moving an application and suffering the statement on oath that Zaidi has contacted her as well as subordinates over phone with an intent to pressurize her and influence her to depose in his favour…the said course of action of the accused was clear cut violation of principles of fair trial and rule of law,” reads the order passed by the CBI Court.

The court further said that only 28 witnesses have been examined till date out of the total 107. “The other material witnesses are yet to be examined,” it added.

The CBI, in its application, had submitted that Sambasivan’s statement clearly revealed that there is a clear violation of the conditions of bail by accused and it may adversely affect the trial of the case. The CBI had also argued that there is apprehension that he may tamper with the prosecution evidence and even abscond.