The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Friday directed the Special Investigation Team (SIT), constituted by state Police to probe Gudia gangrape and murder case before it was handed over to the CBI, to file separate affidavits in the court.

The SIT members appeared before the division bench of acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Sandeep Sharma.

The court asked them to file affidavits in ‘sealed cover’ and fixed the next date of hearing on 24 August.

Led by Inspector General of Police, Zahur H Zaidi, SIT included one Additional SP, two DSPs, one Station House Officer, one Sub-Inspector and an Assistant Sub Inspector.

The SIT members were on Thursday made respondents into the case by the Court, after CBI had submitted its additional status report into the Gudia gangrape and murder case and murder of one of the accused in Kotkhai Police station.

The Court had given two weeks time to CBI to probe the case further and submit the status report, against CBI’s demand for one month’s time.

The state SIT, which had made six arrests on 12 and 13 July, into the ghastly crime committed on 16-year-old girl from Kotkhai area in Shimla district, had failed to satisfy public, which alleged the Police were sheltering some people.

This had to public protests in upper Shimla, leading the state government refer the case to CBI.

The government had application in the HC to expedite the handover of probe in Gudia case to CBI.

Later, one of the accused, a Nepalese, was allegedly killed in Police lock up on 19 July. According to state Police, one of the accused had allegedly killed another in the Police lock-up, which infuriate the people further.

On 19 July, the Court had directed the CBI to probe into the Gudia case, along with the custodial death case.

Gudia, a tenth standard girl from Kotkhai, had gone missing after school hours on 4 July. Her body was found in the woods on 6 July. Her autopsy had confirmed that she was raped and strangulated to death.