Fake encounter case: convicted cops say they were only following orders
Police constables and officials who have been convicted in the 2006 Lakhan Bhaiya fake encounter case told the court on Tuesday they are victims of the system and had only followed the orders of their seniors.mumbai Updated: Jul 10, 2013 10:15 IST
Police constables and officials who have been convicted in the 2006 Lakhan Bhaiya fake encounter case told the court on Tuesday they are victims of the system and had only followed the orders of their seniors.
The sessions court had on Friday convicted 21 persons, including 13 police personnel, for the fake encounter, and had acquitted former encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma.
While the prosecution sought death punishment for 15 convicts, including all the policemen, the defence advocates pleaded for leniency and lesser punishment.
After defence advocates concluded their arguments on the quantum of sentence, the court gave an opportunity to the convicts to submit their pleas.
Some of the cops pleaded they are innocent and have been falsely implicated, saying they had no connection with the encounter.
Sandip Sarkar, a police constable whose name was mentioned in the FIR lodged in the case, and was allegedly part the team, said, “I am a victim of the system.
We have to follow orders of the superiors.
We cannot do anything beyond that,” Sarkar told the court.
His wife through their advocate GJ Bhanushali pleaded her husband was merely a police constable and had no voice.
Devidas Sakpal, a police constable, said, “I have been falsely implicated. By just following the orders of my seniors I have done no wrong.
If we follow the orders, we suffer, and if we refuse, then we suffer too. What options do we have?”
Another police constable Pandurang Kadam also took the same line of defence while seeking leniency.
Some of the cops said they did the right thing by eliminating Gupta as he had a criminal record and was an absconder. They claimed the encounter was genuine.
“We have done nothing wrong by killing Lakhan Bhaiya,” said Tanaji Desai, who was one of those cops who shot him dead.
Another cop Ratnakar Kamble made a similar argument.
“If such criminals are not eliminated, citizens won’t be able to walk freely on the street,” he said.
The court has adjourned the case for the final verdict on July 12, when it will award the sentence to the convicts.
Meanwhile, Sharma, who has been acquitted, will have to spend two more days in jail as the court said it cannot release him till the final verdict is pronounced.