Early on April 7, 1996, sentry Charan Singh was sleeping like a log. As he lay in a guard quarter in Manipur after a tiring 12-hour duty, Singh woke up with the flash of celestial light. Riding on a horse, Goddess Lakshmi told him: “the person sleeping next to you is the one whom you have been searching for to take revenge. You can kill him now.”
Singh promptly took out his rifle and fired. He was glad that the man, involved in an illicit relationship with his sister-in-law, responsible for a situation where the village panchayat was forcing Singh to marry her, was dead. By the time he realised it was a creation of his disturbed mind, colleague Birender Tiwari lay dead in a pool of blood.
The man whom he actually wanted to kill was in Bhiwani, Haryana. Singh was court-martialled and sentenced to life imprisonment. Having served 12 years time, Singh has moved the Delhi High Court seeking suspension of his sentence on completion of 14 years considering the “mitigating circumstances”.
Singh told a Bench of Justices S. K. Kaul and M. C. Garg that his elder brother, forcibly made to undergo vasectomy at 15, still got married. When the girl came to know of her husband’s condition, she got involved in relationship with a villager and became pregnant. The panchayat intervened and as a compromise ordered that Singh marry his sister-in-law. Singh told the bench: “I did not want to marry her and was searching for revenge.”
Calling the case “undisputedly peculiar…,” the court has asked authorities to consider his plea “sympathetically.”