A Bihar police officer was sentenced to death on Tuesday for killing three teenaged students in a fake encounter 12 years ago in Patna’s posh Ashiana Nagar locality.
According to the final charge sheet, the station house officer (SHO) had shot them dead with his service revolver following a dispute over payment of Rs. 2 telephone bill.
The court had pronounced the SHO of Shastrinagar police station, Shams-e- Alam, and seven others guilty of murdering the students on December 28, 2002 and reserved the judgment.
The victims included Vikas Ranjan, a student of electronics (honours) at AN College, Patna, Prashant Singh, who had been selected for a diving course in the Indian Navy and had just returned to Patna from Delhi to get police verification done, and Himanshu Yadav, who was to join a government department on compassionate grounds following the death of his father.
The counsel for the SHO, Surya Prakash Singh said that he would not go in for appeal before the Patna high court.
“We had demanded death sentence for the policemen who had shot innocent students. Barely few hours before the encounter, the same SHO had issued a character certificate to Himanshu and Prashant,” said Jagdish Prasad Gupta, father of slain Vikas.
After massive uproar over the incident in 2002, the case had been handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation, which subsequently found out after an inquiry that the encounter was a fake one.
The CBI submitted the charge sheet in January 2003 itself.
In the charge sheet filed on March 29, 2003, CBI had said the boys, who were lying unconscious on the market floor, were shot dead by Alam.
The chargesheet said after killing the three youths, Alam asked constable Arun Kumar Singh to flash a message on wireless that an encounter was going on at the Sammelan Market in West-Central Patna.
Alam was also accused of planting two country made pistols and ammunition at the place of occurrence in a bid to show these items as “recovery”.