Guj encounters: Bedi recommends prosecution of 2 cops

Former Supreme Court judge, Justice H S Bedi, as chairman of a monitoring authority, has recommended for the prosecution of two Gujarat police inspectors for the murder of one Sameer Khan after concluding his killing in 2002 was “indeed the result of a fake encounter”. PTI file photo for representation

Former Supreme Court judge, Justice H S Bedi, as chairman of a monitoring authority, has recommended for the prosecution of two Gujarat police inspectors for the murder of one Sameer Khan after concluding his killing in 2002 was “indeed the result of a fake encounter”.

Khan, a resident of Ahmedabad was alleged by the Gujarat police to have been trained by Pakistan-based terror organisation Jaiesh-e-Mohammad there and been sent to the state capital to kill the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The panel, in its finding after going through statements of witnesses including a sting operation conducted by a journalist, concluded, “There was something drastically amiss in the death and investigation of Sameer Khan's death.” He was killed in October 2002.

Justice Bedi said inspector K M Vaghela and T A Barot be prosecuted for murder. If it is found during the trial, others were also involved, they should also be prosecuted, Justice Bedi said.

He said three out of 17 encounter cases – involving members of minority community -- during the period 2002 and 2006 in Gujarat required further actions.

However, the 221-page report by Justice Bedi, which was ordered to be handed over to PIL petitioners by the top court, did not find any evidence of the involvement of senior officers or public servants. The petitioners – eminent journalist B G Verghese, now no more, and noted lyricist Javed Akhtar – had in 2007 PIL claimed that the members of the minority community were deliberately targetted in those encounters.

In the case of one Sameer Khan, the Bedi headed panel also directed for payment of Rs 10 lakh compensation to his family members. In another case, Justice Bedi recommended for the trial of five police officers. In yet another case, Justice Bedi recommended for the prosecution of two police officers for murder and awarded a compensation of 14 lakh for the family members of the deceased.

Notably, the panel had not indicted any top police officers in its report.

The top court had on Wednesday rejected the Gujarat government's objection to a plea by Akhtar to provide him a copy of the final report of the monitoring authority into the investigations in those alleged fake encounters between 2002 and 2006.

During the period, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief minister and BJP president Amit Shah was also a minister with the home portfolio.

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Guj encounters: Bedi recommends prosecution of 2 cops

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