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Colleague gets life term for killing sergeant

chandigarh Updated: Mar 01, 2014 11:12 IST
HT Correspondent

For the murder of an Indian Air Force (IAF) sergeant following a drinking bout, additional district and sessions judge SS Sahni awarded life term to the victim's colleague on Friday.

The police in July 2011 had arrested 40-year-old Gurmeet Singh Gill, posted at 12 Wing at the Air Force Station here, for killing Surjit Singh Saini, who was posted at 3BRD.

As per police, both convict as well as the victim were in an inebriated state when Gill repeatedly hit Saini on his head with a slab of Kota stone following a brawl.

Even though the police had claimed that Gill had admitted to the crime, maintained that he had attacked Saini in self-defence. Gill had claimed that initially Saini hurled a brick at him, but missed the target following which he attacked Saini.

As per the police, Gill and Saini were friends and had consumed about half a bottle of liquor in the Non-Commissioned Officers' mess located in Sector 31 before the incident. Around 11.45 pm on July 16, 2011, the duo came out of the mess and had started drinking in front of the gate of Kendriya Vidyalaya School. Around 1.45 am, the police party found Saini lying in a pool of blood near a house in Sector 47, near the school. He was taken to the Government Medical College Hospital, Sector 32, where he was declared brought dead.
Gill had told the police that Saini had insisted on having more drinks but when he refused, Saini started abusing him and attacked him with a brick following which he attacked Saini.

The police had recovered a motorcycle along with clothes, shoes of the accused and blood-stained stone from the spot. Gill had surrendered before his senior officers the next morning.

Wife refuses to talk
Saini's wife Sulochna, who was present in the court, refused to talk to the media. Saini, who hailed from Attari village near Kiratpur Sahib, is survived by his wife, two children. After the incident, Sulochna had said that Gill had called her husband around 9.30pm on the night he was murdered and both had gone out. She had come to know about her husband's death in wee hours of July 17, 2011.

What led to conviction
Accused Gill had made an extrajudicial confession to senior officials, admitting that he killed Saini, but in self-defence. Though during the trial there were contradictions in the statement of senior officials.

As part of the last seen evidence, a UT police cop, who was a member of the police patrol party, had reportedly found them quarrelling in front of the school gate. On discovering that they were IAF personnel, the police advised them to immediately return to their homes. It was the same patrol party that later found Saini lying in a pool of blood.

Statement of deceased's wife Sulochna, who had been calling her husband on the fateful night, was told by Saini that he was with Gill.