All 47 policemen convicted for killing 11 Sikh pilgrims in three separate fake encounters in 1991 in Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit district have been sentenced to life by a special CBI court today.
Last week, the court had held the policemen guilty of killing the Sikh men during the course of a night in July 1991. A total of 57 cops were chargesheeted of which 10 died during the 25-year-long trial.
On Friday, only 20 policemen appeared before the Pilibhit court, which sent them to judicial custody and issued non-bailable warrants against the rest.
Reports earlier said the missing cops had disappeared after taking long leaves. Those who retired had also allegedly gone underground. It was not clear while filing this report how many of those missing cops attended the court today.
On the intervening night of July 12 and 13, 1991, a group of Sikh pilgrims returning from Patna Sahib and other holy places in a bus was intercepted in Pilibhit. Eleven Sikhs were forced to step down from the bus, divided into three groups and later killed in three separate encounters.
The police claimed they were terrorists and had fired on the policemen. The CBI had probed the case on the orders of the Supreme Court.