A special CBI court in India today sentenced 47 policemen to life imprisonment for killing 10 Sikh pilgrims in a fake encounter in Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh 25 years ago.
The court also imposed fine of Rs 11 lakh on SHO-level officers, Rs 7 lakh for sub-inspector and Rs 2.50 lakh for constable-level policemen. It announced compensation of Rs 14 lakh to the kin of the killed.
The CBI court had on Friday convicted 47 cops.
The original chargesheet had held 57 policemen guilty. However, 10 of them died during the 25-year-long trial. In his order, the CBI special judge recounted the sequence of events. The incident took place on July 12, 1991, when the Uttar Pradesh police stopped a luxury bus in which a group of Sikh pilgrims was travelling.
The bus was stopped near Kachla Bridge in Badaun district where the police reportedly offloaded 10 pilgrims. They were made to board a mini bus. Later, the pilgrims were divided into three groups — two of four each and one of the remaining two. Separate police teams then took them to the jurisdiction of different police stations where they were killed in cold blood.
The lure of awards for killing so-called dreaded terrorists was reportedly the motive behind the killings. Some of the Sikh youth had terror-related cases pending against them which the police had come to know.
Following media reports questioning the police version of the encounter, Supreme Court advocate RS Sodhi had filed a PIL in the apex court seeking a CBI probe, which was ordered.
The chargesheet filed four years after the incident on June 12, 1995, had indicted 57 policemen under various sections of the IPC, including 302, for the fake encounter, Indian media reports.