Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Five hundred thousand Ruppees compensation to kin of a victim of Fake encounter
Nineteen-year-old Santosh Patel left his home in Purabpur village, near Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, at 5 p.m. on December 13, 2006, to join two friends for dinner. He then disappeared.
In written statements, police said Patel and an accomplice stole a cashbox from a small shop in Harahua market at 6:30 p.m. and fled on his motorbike. Sub-inspector Ravindra Bhusan Maurya of the Harhua police post, drinking tea at a nearby shop, heard noises and called Mahendra Pratap Yadav, inspector for the Badagaon police station, on his mobile phone. Yadav pursued Patel and his accomplice in his jeep from one direction, while Maurya approached from the other. Finding themselves cornered, Patel or his accomplice opened fire. Police fired back in self-defense, killing Patel while his accomplice escaped in the darkness.
Patel’s family disputed the police’s account, and in January 2008 they succeeded in getting an FIR registered against the police and other individuals that alleges a conspiracy to murder Patel. According to Patel’s brother Ramlal, on December 13, Patel’s friends Manoj Kumar Yadav and Bully Yadav called him continually from noon, urging him to attend a dinner party. Two hours after Patel left on his motorcycle for the dinner, one of his brothers received an anonymous call saying that Patel had been in an accident. A neighbor also received an anonymous call saying Patel was at Pragya Hospital Harahua, but when they later checked they found the hospital had no record of him having been there.
In a statement to a local magistrate, Patel’s father, who died in 2008, said police denied knowing Patel’s whereabouts later that night, well after the time of the alleged encounter killing:
I went to Harahua police chowki to inquire into the matter. I was told there that there was not any matter related with an accident....[Later] when I came back to Harahua police chowki, I saw that the motorcycle of [my son] was standing there. When I asked the policemen about that motorcycle, I was told that the dead body of Santosh Kumar Patel had been sent to Badagaon police station.
The next morning, the family read in the newspaper that Patel had been killed in an encounter while supposedly robbing a shop. Patel’s brother Ramlal told us that the police’s account was implausible and internally inconsistent, based on fabricated evidence that did not match the supposed crime:
Police say this happened at 7 p.m. The place of the supposed incident, the nearby residents didn’t hear any fire....The shop that was supposedly a petty shop, why was the cashbox that was recovered full of 500 rupee notes? The statement of the shopkeeper was that the culprit was very built, but [Patel] was small.
Patel’s post-mortem report also showed “blackening of the body,” indicating a shot from very close-range rather than a shoot-out, as alleged by police.
Compensation to Kin of Santosh patel by NHRC
Testimony of Ramlal
Compensation in fake encounter case by NHRC