3 UP cops get death for fake encounter
†Justice was delayed but not denied for families of victims of the infamous Gonda fake encounter case that took place over 30 years ago in which a senior police officer and 12 villagers were killed by cops.
A CBI court here on Friday awarded death penalty to three policemen and sentenced five others to life imprisonment.
Those awarded the death penalty were erstwhile station house in-charge of Kaudia police station in Gonda district R B Saroj, who had led the police team, and constables R N Pandey and Ram Karan. Erstwhile deputy superintendent of police of Gonda, K P Singh, was among those killed in a fake encounter at Madhavpur village in the district on March 13, 1982.
The police had claimed to have reached Madhavpur village at dawn on the fateful day on receiving information that a gang of robbers was staying at a house there. Singh reached the spot after being informed by Saroj.
The policemen had claimed that the robbers opened fire, fatally injuring Singh. In the ensuing encounter, 12 robbers were killed, they claimed. An inquiry conducted by a police officer later found the encounter to be genuine.
However, Singh’s widow moved the Supreme Court seeking a CBI investigation.
The CBI found the encounter to be fake and charge sheeted 19 police personnel. It turned out that Singh had been conducting an inquiry against Saroj and the latter had conspired to get him killed in the encounter.
The cops killed Singh and then claimed that he had been killed by the robbers. They then killed 12 villagers dubbing them robbers in the encounter.
“There was a terahwin (a ritual by the hindus on the 13th day of cremation of a body)....there were relatives and others at the house, when the police broke open the doors and took away 12 people”, said a villager.