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UP fake encounter: 15 cops get life-terms
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | September 11, 2007 19:41 IST
Last Updated: September 11, 2007 19:43 IST
Justice may get delayed, but it is not always denied. And this was borne out in a verdict issued by a court in Etawah district of Uttar Pradesh that on Tuesday awarded life term to 15 cops for committing the fake encounter of a physically challenged person way back in 1993.
Exactly 15 years after Raj Narain Pandit was done to death by a team of policemen on the banks of the Chambal river in Chakar Nagar area of Etawah district on January 28, 1992, Special Sessions Judge R P Sharma pronounced the verdict in the crowded Etawah court, about 250 km from Lucknow.
The court held that Pandit, who was gunned down in an ecounter, was a physically challenged person without any criminal antecedents.
However, his brother was wanted in a number of criminal cases and also carried a reward of Rs 5,000 on his head.
Terming Pandit too as a "hardened criminal", the police had on record shown that he committed suicide by jumping into the Chambal river.
Later, a CB-CID probe was ordered into the case. On September 10, 1993, the CB-CID had filed chargesheets against 16 policemen, including the then station house officer incharge of Chakar Nagar police station.
After holding a trial for nearly a decade and a half, the special sessions judge pronounced life imprisonment for the then Chakar Nagar SHO Girivar Giri, then sub-inspectors J N Singh and Shaligram Yadav and constables Santosh, Ram Prakash, Brajpal Singh, Surya Dev, Jitendra Prasad Yadav, Ram Khilari, Brijesh Kumar, Brajmohan, Yatendra Bihari Lal, Jai Prakash Deewan Singh, Ashok Kumar and Balveer Singh.
Besides, a cash penalty of Rs 5,000 was also slapped on each of the convicted cops.