A city court on Friday awarded the death sentence to a retired assistant commissioner of police (ACP) for torturing two men to death in police custody 19 years back. R.P. Tyagi is perhaps the first high-ranking police officer to be sentenced to death in a case of custodial killing.
Tyagi, who began his career in the police as a sub-inspector, was station house officer of the Vivek Vihar police station when he tortured Mahinder Kumar and Ram Kumar to death in August 1987.
In their defence, the police said Mahinder and Ram were arrested for robbing people at knifepoint. They claimed the two were beaten to death by an enraged public after they were caught.
Additional Session Judge Rajinder Kumar termed the case “rarest of rare”. “It raises hackles to visualise how torturous it would have been for deceased Mahinder to bear the pain till his last breath,” his judgment said. “He was made to die bit by bit, writhing in pain like a sacrificed animal. It has shaken the conscience of the entire society.” The court also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on Tyagi.
Tyagi, now 65, and two other senior officers — retired ACP K.P. Singh and sub-inspector Tej Singh — had been convicted in the case on Wednesday. K.P. Singh and Tej were sentenced to one and three years of rigorous imprisonment respectively for destruction of evidence, as well as for not registering the case in order to help the accused.