Human Rights

Ranbir's fake encounter: Three police officers arrested

Of 14 policemen, three policemen who killed Ranbir Singh (24) in a fake encounter and branded him a criminal some three months ago at Dehradoon, were arrested on 3 October 2009 by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Three policemen (inspector Santosh Jaswal, sub-inspector GD Bhatt and constable Ajit Singh) were charged under IPC sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder) 364 (abduction in order to murder) and 201 (destruction of evidence). The three guilty policemen were produced at a Dehradun Court on 13 October 2009 and were remanded to judicial custody for 14 days.

Ranbir Singh was gunned down on 3 July when local police were on routine checking and a high alert was sounded ahead of President Pratibha Patel’s visit to the state.

The post mortem report of the encounter revealed that Ranbir was shot from close range and tortured before he was killed. CBI investigation recovered 11 bullets buried deep in the ground at the spot. Reports said that the bullets  found buried deep suggest Ranbir was shot from close range and several bullets missed him and penetrated the ground. These were fired from AK-47s and .9 mm pistols, and no shot was fired from the pistol police claimed Ranbir possessed. Reports also said that Ranbir's friend Ram Kumar said police took Ranbir to a jungle.

Available reports said that the three accused policemen were taken by the CBI to the CBI office in Dehradun after the Uttarkhand High Court refused to order an stay on their arrest. The Court has directed the CBI to file its reply within two weeks. Taking over the investigations on 1 August, CBI had field an FIR against 14 policemen involved in the encounter and reports said that more officers are likely to be arrested soon.

R.P.Singh, the victim's father, said he had been insisting on a CBI inquiry from the beginning. "I have full faith in the agency and believe that the investigation will be transparent, and arrested policemen should be sentenced to life imprisonment.

Majid Jahangir

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 November 2009 on page no. 11

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