Long-delayed justice: Punjab ex-cops jailed for 1993 staged killing - The Tribune India

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Long-delayed justice

Punjab ex-cops jailed for 1993 staged killing

Long-delayed justice

Dilbagh Singh and Gurbachan Singh



IN a significant verdict on Friday, a CBI court in Mohali sentenced former Punjab Police DIG Dilbagh Singh to seven years of rigorous imprisonment and ex-DSP Gurbachan Singh to life imprisonment for their roles in the 1993 fake encounter killing of Gulshan Kumar, a fruit vendor. This case, a chilling reminder of the dark days of unbridled police brutality in Punjab, highlights the systemic lapses that had plagued the state. Extrajudicial killings, illegal detentions and staged encounters had become distressingly common. The details of this case are harrowing. On June 22, 1993, Gulshan, along with his father and brothers, was abducted by a police team led by Dilbagh and Gurbachan. While the others were released, Gulshan was kept in illegal custody for a month before being killed in a staged encounter. His body was cremated as ‘unclaimed’, a common practice then to cover up extrajudicial killings. The case, initially overlooked, was taken up by the CBI in 1995 on the Supreme Court’s directive, culminating in the conviction nearly three decades later.

The law has at last been catching up with rogue cops. In September 2023, three ex-officers received the life sentence for the 1992 fake encounter killing of three youths. A year before that, a retired sub-inspector was sentenced to 10 years in another fake encounter of 1992. These cases reveal a pattern of grave misconduct and long-overdue comeuppance.

The delivery of justice underscores the resilience of the victims’ families amid numerous challenges, including the death of several accused during the trial and witness attrition. This is crucial for restoring faith in the rule of law and can serve as a deterrent against abuse of power.

#Central Bureau of Investigation CBI #Mohali #Punjab Police


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