Five years after a 22-year-old MBA student, Ranbir Singh, was killed in a fake encounter in Dehradun, a Delhi court on Friday convicted 18 Uttarakhand Police personnel — seven for murder and others for various offences including criminal conspiracy and kidnapping.
The seven police personnel who have been held guilty of murder are Sub-Inspectors Santosh Kumar Jaiswal, Gopal Dutt Bhatt (SHO), Rajesh Bisht, Neeraj Kumar, Nitin Chauhan, Chander Mohan Singh Rawat and constable Ajit Singh.
“Accused 1 to 7 are held guilty and convicted for substantive offence punishable under section 302 (murder) of the IPC read with section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC and for substantive offence punishable under section 364 (kidnapping to murder) of IPC read with section 120B of IPC,” said Special CBI Judge J P S Malik.
Ten others — constables Satbir Singh, Sunil Saini, Chander Pal, Saurabh Nautiyal, Nagender Rathi, Vikas Chander Baluni, Sanjay Rawat and Manoj Kumar, and drivers Mohan Singh Rana and Inderbhan Singh — have been held guilty of conspiring to kidnap and murder the student. The court held them “guilty and convicted for offence punishable under section 120B of IPC read with sections 364 and 302 of IPC”.
The last accused, Jaspal Singh Gosain, the then head operator at the city control room, has been convicted under Section 218 IPC (public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture) but acquitted of all other charges. He was directed to furnish a personal bail bond of Rs 50,000 and a surety of the same amount.
Ranbir Singh, a resident of Ghaziabad, was gunned down by the police on July 3, 2009. The police alleged that he was involved in an extortion racket.
During its probe, the CBI concluded that Singh was killed after being subjected to torture. It said 12 bullets were pumped into his body and the incident was passed off as an encounter. The CBI report said there were 27 deep injuries on the body.
The court is set to hear the arguments on the quantum of sentence on Saturday. The Supreme Court transferred the case to Delhi in 2011 on the plea of Ranbir’s family.
Speaking to the media after the court’s order, Ranbir’s father, Ravinder Pal, said, “I am happy with the court’s judgment. In future, people will refrain from committing such crimes. I want the guilty to be sent to the gallows, that’s the only way justice will be delivered.”
Seeking the maximum punishment for the convicts, he said, “I have faced defeat from every side, I will be relieved only after all of them are hanged”.
In Dehradun, DGP B S Sidhu said, “We will get the judgment examined by legal experts to explore the possibility of making an appeal in a higher court. This will affect the morale of our force.”
The AAP accused the government of "politicising" the occasion by not inviting Kejriwal.