47 UP policemen get life term for staged gun battle

Lucknow, April 4 (IANS) A special CBI court on Monday sentenced 47 Uttar Pradesh policemen of various ranks to life imprisonment in a 1991 staged gun battle case in Pilibhit.

These policemen were on Friday convicted by the court for gunning down 11 Sikh pilgrims in cold blood in Pilibhit on July 12, 1991, while the latter were returning from a pilgrimage.

The police had dubbed the victims as terrorists and said they had fired at the police personnel when intercepted.

The court held the policemen guilty under sections 302 (murder), 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 365 (kidnapping or abducting), 218 (public servant framing incorrect record) and 117 (abetting commission of offence) read with 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The Supreme Court handed over the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation after a public interest litigation.

The CBI said the Sikhs killed in the staged gun battle were innocent. The agency charge-sheeted 57 police officials in the case. Ten of the accused died during the trial.

The CBI court framed charges against the accused on January 20, 2003.

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