The Himachal Pradesh government suspended Inspector General of Police ZH Zaidi, Director General of Police (DGP) Sitaram Mardi said on Thursday but refused to disclose the reason for the suspension. The DGP said he has been suspended by the home secretary, “talk to him to know the reason why he was suspended”.

Zaidi was posted as CEO of the state wakf board. Zaidi was earlier suspended in 2017 after his arrest in connection with the custodial death of a Nepalese national in the Gudia rape and murder case and then reinstated in November last year. Sources said he has been suspended again after IPS officer Soumya Sambasivan told a CBI court in Chandigarh that she was being pressured by Zaidi to change her statement in the custodial death case.

Eight police personnel, including Zaidi and deputy superintendent of police Manoj Joshi, were arrested by CBI on August 29, 2017, while former superintendent of police DW Negi was arrested on November 16, 2017.

Suraj, an accused in the Gudia rape and murder case, was killed in the Kotkhai police station in July 2017. The 16-year-old girl had gone missing in Kotkhai on July 4, 2017, and her body was found from Halaila forests two days later. The autopsy had confirmed rape and murder.

Following a public outcry, a special investigation team, headed by Zaidi, was set up by the then Congress government. The SIT arrested six people and after the custodial death of Suraj, the High Court had handed over the investigation of both cases to CBI.