Eleven former policemen from Rajasthan were convicted on Tuesday by a court here for killing Raja Man Singh of the erstwhile Bharatpur royal family and his two colleagues over 35 years ago in Deeg area of the state.
Mathura District Judge Sadhna Rani Thakur will pronounce the quantum of sentence for the convicts, including former Deeg Dy SP Kan Singh Bhati and local police station in-charge, sub-inspector Virendra Singh, on Wednesday.
Days after the killings of the royal family chief and his two colleagues, Sumer Singh and Hari Singh, in a police encounter at the Deeg grain market on February 21, 1985, the case was transferred by the then central government to the CBI on February 27, said advocate Narayan Singh Viplavi, the counsel for complainant Vijay Singh in the case.
The trial was later shifted from a Jaipur special court to Mathura in Uttar Pradesh by the Supreme Court in November 1989 on the plea of complainant Vijay Singh, a son-in-law of the slain chief of the erstwhile riyasat, he said.
According to the prosecution, Singh and his colleagues were killed in an encounter by the Deeg police a day after Singh, then contesting the state Vidhan Sabha election as an independent candidate, had allegedly banged his jeep into former Rajasthan''s chief minister Shiv Charan Mathur’s helicopter.
He was also accused of damaging some publicity material and a stage set up for Mathur to address an election rally in favour of the Congress candidate Brajendra Singh, a retired IAS officer, the prosecution had told the court.
“Though we have got delayed justice, I am happy that guilty persons have ultimately been convicted,” said Krishnendra Kaur Deepa, a member of the Bharatpur royal family and a multiple-term MLA in the state assembly between 1985 and 2018.
Deepa, who also represented Bharatpur once as a BJP MP, had been pursuing the case since 1985.
The murder case against policemen was registered on the complaint of Vijay Singh who too was sitting in the jeep of Raja Man Singh during the encounter, said complainant’s counsel Viplavi.
After the encounter, the police rushed the three injured persons, Raja Maan Singh and his colleagues, to Bharatpur hospital where they were declared “brought dead”.
Following the encounter, police arrested Vijay Singh on charges trying to kill policemen involved in the encounter, but he was granted bail the same day and lodged the complaint against the police team two days later, said Viplavi.
The police initially lodged two cases against Raja Man Singh and his colleagues and began the investigation but all cases were transferred to the CBI by the Centre.
The CBI later filed the charge sheet in the case in a special court in Jaipur, but its trial was transferred to the Mathura court by the apex court.
The CBI indicted 18 Rajasthan policemen out of whom three died during the trial, one was discharged and three others were acquitted of charges under section 218 of the IPC, an offence related to public servants fudging records to shield accused.
The remaining 11 were convicted by the court on charges of murder. The convicted policemen included former DySP Kan Singh Bhati and ex-SI Virendra Singh.
The nine other convicted former policemen are Sukh Ram, Jeevan Ram, Jag Mohan, Bhanwar Singh, Hari Singh, Chhatar Singh, Sher Singh, Daya Ram and Ravi Shekhar.
The three policemen who died during the trial are Sita Ram, Neki Ram and Kuldeep and the case was abated against them.
The three ex-policemen who were acquitted of charges of shielding their colleagues by creating false records are Kan Singh Shirvi, Hari Kishan and Govind Prasad.
The sole former policeman who was discharged in the case is Mahendra Singh.