A local court on Friday sentenced five policemen, including a Deputy Superintendent of Police, to life imprisonment for the custodial death of a man in 1996.
Additional Sessions Judge Kuldeep Singh also awarded two years sentence to another policeman Jasdev Singh in this case. Singh has been granted bail.
Rajinder Pal Singh Anand, a DSP with Punjab Police posted at Nabha, and five other police personnel were convicted by the court after it upheld the charges against them in a case pertaining to the custodial death of Balbir Singh, a mason at Shahpur village in Sangrur district.
Balbir was arrested on July 28, 1996 on the complaint of a local Gurdwara Tibbi Sahib management that he had stolen utensils.
DSP Rainder Pal Singh Anand was an inspector at Nabha and held additional charge of Kotwali police station, where the case against Balbir was registered.
As per the police version, Balbir jumped into the Thuhi canal when he was being taken for the recovery of stolen goods and died.
In his writ petition filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 1999, Balbir's father Udham Singh appealed for an inquiry by the CBI.
A post mortem by a team of three doctors found multiple injuries in the body of Balbir. The report cited a fractured spine and asphyxia due to drowning as the cause of death.
The post mortem report formed a basis for the conviction of the police officers who were sent to jail today.
The other convicts are ASI Rajpal Singh (retd), head constables Mohinder Singh, Darhsan Singh, Vinod Kumar and Jasdev Singh (retd).