18 Uttarakhand cops convicted in fake encounter case; 7 for murder

A trial court in Delhi on Friday convicted 18 Uttarakhand police personnel in a fake 'encounter' case where a college student was shot dead in 2009; seven of them under murder charges.

The rest have been convicted for various offences including criminal conspiracy and kidnapping.

Special CBI Judge J P S Malik held seven of the 18 cops, including six sub-inspectors and one constable, guilty of killing 22-year-old Ranbir Singh in the encounter.

Except Jaspal Singh Gosain, all the other 17 cops were convicted of conspiring to kidnap and murder the student.

Significantly, the judge convicted Gosain for the offence of a public servant framing incorrect record with an intention to save a person from punishment (Section 218 IPC), but released him on ground of the period he has already undergone behind bars. He was acquitted of all the other charges.

Gosain, the then head operator at city control room, was directed to furnish a bail bond of Rs50,000 and a surety of the like amount.

Those convicted for murder are sub-inspectors Santosh Kumar Jaiswal, Gopal Dutt Bhatt (Station House Officer), Rajesh Bisht, Neeraj Kumar, Nitin Chauhan, Chander Mohan Singh Rawat, and Police Constable Ajit Singh.

"Accused 1 to 7 (Santosh, Gopal, Rajesh, Neeraj, Nitin, Rawat and Ajit) 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," the judge said.

"Accused 1 to 18 (excluding Accused-17) are held guilty and convicted for offence punishable under section 120B of IPC read with sections 364 and 302 of IPC," the judge said.

The other ten convicts are Police 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.

The court is expected to hear arguments on the sentence today.

As the court verdict shows, Ranbir, a business student from Ghaziabad, was gunned down by Uttarakhand Police on suspicion, without any evidence of criminality.