In a big blow to Gujarat government, the Supreme Court has asked state to pay compensation to the kin of Sohrabuddin Sheikh who was killed in a fake encounter.
Sohrabuddin and his wife, Kausar Bi, had mysteriously disappeared from near Ahmedabad. It was later alleged that they were killed in a fake encounter in November 2005.
The Apex court's order again puts the the Gujarat government, especially the role of state police, in a tight spot. Already, the Chief Minister Narendra Modi's role during the post-Godhra riots in the State, is under inquiry.
Three officers of the elite Indian Police Service (IPS)--DG Vanzara, RK Pandayan and MN Dinesh, the last belonging to Rajasthan police, are alleged to have masterminded the encounter.
The couple was abducted from a bus and kept at a farmhouse. Later they were separated and Sheikh was taken away. First, Kausar Bi was shot dead. Later Sohrabuddin Sheikh was shot by four inspectors, who fired eight rounds at him.
Kausar Bi's body was burnt by the policemen. After the couple went missing, Sohrabuddin's family approached the court and the fresh investigation led to the arrest of senior IPS officers.
The damning court verdict has again brought to fore the serious human rights abuse at the instance of state. Custodial tortures and killings in fake encounters have been rampant in BJP-ruled Gujarat but it seems the law is finally catching up with the culprits.
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