Ghaziabad fake encounter: Convicts staged encounter for promotion, perks
Due to public pressure and political intervention, the case was transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The agency’s investigation revealed that the four victims were in Pilkhuwa looking for jobs and were sitting at a tea stall opposite the Bhojpur police station. The four were called inside and were taken in a police jeep towards Modi Nagar.Updated: Feb 23, 2017 12:09 IST
The prosecution in the Bhojpur fake encounter case said that the convicted Uttar Pradesh police personnel had gunned down the four innocent persons for rewards and promotions in quick succession. The documents in the case suggest that the convicts faked the second part of the encounter, for which they had sought police reinforcements through their internal communication system.
The four victims, Jalaluddin, Ashok, Pravesh and Jasbir, were gunned down on the afternoon of November 8, 1996, the day of Dhanteras festival. The UP police, in the initial FIR, had stated that they gunned down two ‘badmash’ (goons) on the road while two, hiding in the nearby sugarcane fields, were gunned down in retaliatory firing.
According to the 1996 FIR, the encounter ensued near Machli Bazar, popularly known as ‘Macheri ki Puliya,’ around 3.30pm when a police party led by Bhojpur station house officer (SHO) Lal Singh was on its way in a jeep accompanying four (different) accused for recovery of arms in a different case.
Lal Singh had stated that the police party spotted four youngsters en route and asked them to stop, but they hid among trees and opened fire on the police party.
“They took cover in trenches and trees, and fired two rounds at the police with an intention to kill, but we were saved. We sat down and took up (attack) position despite the danger to our lives. The ‘badmash’ (goons) fired twice and one bullet zoomed past my ear. Then, I crawled while moving forward and fired four shots from my revolver,” Lal Singh had stated in the FIR.
He had further stated that constables Ranbir fired five rounds from his carbine, Surya Bhan fired four rounds from his Sten gun and Subhash Chand fired three rounds from his rifle, which finally killed two.
Hearing the firing, the jeep driver sent messages from the police radio-talkie set to the Bhojpur and Modi Nagar police for reinforcements. A team led by then Modi Nagar circle officer Jyoti Belur, and another team led by OP Sagar, superintendent of police (rural - SPRA), came to their aid.
The FIR further states that around 5pm, the police force, on the directions of SPRA and the ASP entered the thick sugarcane fields nearly 9-10 steps when the ‘badmash’ opened fire again. “On this, the police party, despite peril to their lives, showed exemplary courage and opened fire in retaliation in the direction where movements of the goons were heard. The ‘badmash’ fired again but the firing stopped after some time...” the FIR stated.
The police had claimed to have recovered weapons from the four persons. Nearly all the officials, including the SPRA, ASP, SHO, station officers and constables had fired rounds from their respective weapons, which included revolvers, rifles, carbine and deadly AK-47s.
A total of five cases were registered that were investigated by MP Singh, then inspector of Hapur police station and a case closure report was filed on January 21, 1997, at the Ghaziabad court.
However, under public pressure and political intervention, the case was transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The agency’s investigation revealed that the four victims were in Pilkhuwa looking for jobs and were sitting at a tea stall opposite the Bhojpur police station. The four were called inside and were taken in a police jeep towards Modi Nagar.
The jeep stopped near ‘Macheri ki pulia’ around 3.30pm where Surya Bhan, Ranbir Singh and Subhash Chand pulled Jalaluddin from the jeep. Lal Singh pushed him and opened fire at him. Jalaluddin died after suffering a rifle shot, fired by Subhash Chand. Lal Singh then fired at Jasbir Singh.
Meanwhile, Joginder Singh, a sub-inspector from Bhojpur police station, reached the spot on a scooter with countrymade weapons, ‘kattas.’ These were planted near the bodies of Jasbir and Jalaluddin after firing one round from each.
The police then entered the sugarcane fields and fired a few rounds. Chander Pal, a friend of Lal Singh from Bhojpur village, arrived at the spot and was allowed to enter the fields. He saw the dead bodies of two others, Ashok and Pravesh. He also found police breaking the sugarcane around the bodies.
“That before the arrival of Jyoti Belur, ASP and OP Sagar, SPRA, and other officers, the four deceased were thus found shot at, injured and dead,” the CBI chargesheet stated.
During the post-mortem examination, Dr SC Aggarwal found that Jasbir had sustained two shots, Jalaluddin, five, Ashok, two and Pravesh, five. All four had suffered injuries to their chest while Ashok, Jalaluddin and Pravesh had bullet marks on their heads as well, just above the ear.
First Published: Feb 22, 2017 22:40 IST