A special CBI court in Lucknow today sentenced 47 policemen to life imprisonment for killing 10 Sikh pilgrims in a fake encounter in Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh 25 years ago. Special judge had on April 1 held the policemen guilty of a “fake encounter”.
On July 12, 1991, the policemen stopped a luxury bus filled with Sikh pilgrims and forced 10 passengers to get off. A charge sheet said they were divided into groups, taken to different areas in a jungle and killed in “cold blood”. The policemen claimed the next day that 10 Khalistani terrorists had been killed. They claimed that some of theSikhs in the bus had criminal cases and were armed. The case dates back to 1991 when the state’s Terai region witnessed a surge in militancy-related incidents. The CBI investigated the case on the orders of the Supreme Court and said the motive behind the killings was to earn awards and recognition for killing “terrorists”.
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