UP court acquits all 36 accused in 'fake' encounter case of 1998

05:08 PM Apr 02, 2023 | Team Udayavani |

A court in this Uttar Pradesh district has acquitted 36 people, including 34 police personnel, in a 25-year-old case pertaining to the encounter of four people.



Additional Sessions Judge Shailoj Chandra acquitted the 36 people on Friday, giving them the benefit of doubt.


Additional District Government Counsel (ADGC) Vikas Narayan Singh on Sunday said in October 1998, police had claimed that four men, including Dhananjay Singh, who is now a leader of the Janata Dal (United), were shot dead while they had gone to a petrol pump in Saroi to commit dacoity.



It subsequently turned out that a lookalike of Dhananjay Singh was killed in the encounter, while Singh, who was carrying a cash reward of Rs 50,000 on information leading to his arrest, surrendered before a court in February 1999.


Late Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders Amar Singh and Phoolan Devi, former SP leader Ahmed Hasan and SP MLA from Bhadohi Zahid Beg held an agitation over the incident, alleging that the encounter was a fake one.


The Uttar Pradesh government ordered a CB-CID probe, which revealed that the encounter was indeed staged. The CB-CID registered a case against the 36 people, including the then circle officer Akhilanand Mishra.


All of them were subsequently granted bail in the case.


The ADGC said the CB-CID probe revealed that during his tenure as the circle officer in Jaunpur, Mishra had developed a personal enmity with a student leader who was a lookalike of Dhananjay Singh. After he was transferred to Bhadohi, Mishra brought this man from Jaunpur and kept him in a flat.


Keeping his senior officials in the darkness and attributing the operation to a tip-off, Mishra killed four people, including the lookalike of Dhananjay Singh, in broad daylight in Saroi, the government lawyer said.


He further informed that 10 accused police personnel died during the trial.


After hearing the arguments of both sides, the judge acquitted all the accused in the case on Friday.


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