Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Monday came out in defence of the 13 policemen, who were sentenced to life term in the 2006 fake encounter of alleged Chhota Rajan aide Ramnarayan Gupta alias Lakhan Bhaiya.
“These policemen killed a criminal and ideally the state should have protected them. Sena will provide legal help to them and also take care of their families,” said Thackeray.
He was speaking to reporters after inaugurating the newlyrenovated party office at Nariman Point.
“These goons torture the common man, and if the policemen are going to be punished in this manner, then no one will dare take action against them; the ultimate sufferer will be the public,” he said.
When it came to power in 1995, the saffron combine had encouraged encounter killings to wipe out the underworld in the city. In fact, the Sena mouthpiece, Saamna, has been supporting the role of these policemen in their reports.
Earlier this month, the sessions court had convicted the police personnel, including inspector Pradeep Suryavanshi, for various charges including abduction, wrongful confinement, murder and aiding and abetting the crime, along with the charge of criminal conspiracy.
However, encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma was acquitted in the case.
On November 11, 2006, Lakhan Bhaiya was gunned down at Nana-Nani Park in Versova. The high court ordered a magisterial inquiry in February 2008.
The report submitted in August 2009 said Lakhan Bhaiya was killed in cold blood.
Then the high court formed a special investigation team (SIT), which filed the charge sheet in April 2010 against the 22 accused.