Ranbir Singh Dehradun Fake Encounter : Uneasy Silence!

Yesterday , a Delhi Court convicted 18 Uttarakhand Policemen in fake encounter, that took place more than Five years ago in Dehradun, the Capital of Uttarakhand. Out of these 18, seven were convicted for murder and others for various offences including criminal conspiracy and kidnapping.

The seven police personnel who have been held guilty of murder are Sub-Inspectors Santosh Kumar Jaiswal, Gopal Dutt Bhatt (SHO), Rajesh Bisht, Neeraj Kumar, Nitin Chauhan, Chander Mohan Singh Rawat and constable Ajit Singh. Ten others — constables Satbir Singh, Sunil Saini, Chander Pal, Saurabh Nautiyal, Nagender Rathi, Vikas Chander Baluni, Sanjay Rawat and Manoj Kumar, and drivers Mohan Singh Rana and Inder Bhan Singh

Dehradun Fake Encounter Case :

Ranbir Singh, a 22-year-old MBA student, a resident of Ghaziabad, was gunned down in a broad daylight by the police on July 3, 2009. The police alleged that he was involved in an extortion racket. The boy’s father fought the police and alleged that his young son was killed in a fake encounter in Dehradun.

Uneasy Silence!

All today, there’s an uneasy silence in Dehradun. There’s an uneasy silence on Facebook as well. People are surprisingly silent.  Surprising because, the Facebook communities so vocal on politics, communalism are not speaking anything on this cold blooded murder .

But the silence can be understood.

First, many are seeing it as an issue between Uttarakhand people and outside. Second, many are not willing to have a clear stand on fake encounters or extra judicial killings . It’s a real dilemma. The dilemma is  — If I criticise a fake encounter today, then how can I criticise a visibly fake encounter involving some hardened criminal, History sheeter or a terrorist. A clear viewpoint on encounters now, means that I have to criticise a fake encounter during the rule of the political party I support.

But we need to make a clear a stand on not only fake encounters but also on Encounters, now. After all the very reasoning that “Police captures and Courts set free” doesn’t give the police the reason to take the job of a judge.

If we live in a democracy (the Rule of the People, we gave ourselves by the Constitution of India) , where there’s a Rule of Law, then there are strong reasons why such fake encounters are wrong. A Rule of Law means — A person can be punished only for the acts punishable by Law, and nothing else. That apart, the responsibility of punishing a Law breaker lies on the Courts of Law, and no one else. If we as a Nation hail (praise or idolise) policemen as ‘Encounter Specialists’ and justify the fake encounter of even a history sheeter or a hardened criminal or a terrorist as a necessity, then we are NOT doing ourselves any good. As even a bad guy has a right to get a proper trial. That apart, what is the guarantee that a non-criminal is not killed for challenging the ego of a policeman!

Thus, even if one believes that the Uttarakhand Police will get the judgement reversed in the Higher Court, lets think about such killings.

Take for instance, in the Ranbir Singh fake encounter case, the court found the 18 policemen guilty of crimes like murder, criminal conspiracy, kidnapping to murder.  During its probe, the CBI concluded that Singh was killed after being subjected to torture. It said 12 bullets were pumped into his body and the incident was passed off as an encounter. The CBI report said there were 27 deep injuries on the body. A person is dead with a single bullet, why a dozen bullets? is a valid question. We speak of insensitive Policing in India. This proves why they behave that way.

John Dalberg Acton or The Lord Acton, once said,

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Good to see, the Court ruling in Ranbir Singh fake encounter case put a control on this absolute power. Good to see, the judgment in Ranbir Singh encounter case gave us the opportunity to ask the right questions. Are we willing to ask the right question? is up to us.