Uttarakhand Forest Minister Kunwar Pranav Singh ‘Champion’ today deposed before a Special CBI court, trying the 2009 fake encounter case of MBA student Ranbir Singh in Dehradun.
Singh deposed in the court of Special CBI Judge VK Maheshwari as a CBI witness as prior to Ranbir’s killing, the minister’s guard had intervened in a fight that the victim had picked up with the Uttarakhand Police personnel, when he was intercepted on Mohini Road there on an information that he and his associates were allegedly trying to commit some crime on July 3, 2009.
During his examination-in-chief, the minister told the court that Constable Kurnesh was his guard deployed at his house in Uttarakhand.
He said Kurnesh was passing through Mohini Road when he is said to have seen Ranbir fighting with the cops and he intervened into the matter.
The minister also told the court that he is having three licences to keep a rifle, a double-barrel gun and a pistol and that he was in Delhi on June 3-4, 2009 when the alleged fake encounter took place.
During his cross-examination by the defence counsel, the minister was subjected to some personal questions as to how many wives does he have and how many arms licences do they have. The same were objected to by the CBI.
Besides Singh, three other witnesses deposed in the court, which would continue to record their statements tomorrow.
Eighteen Uttarakhand Police personnel are facing trial in the case of alleged extra-judicial killing that rocked the hill state in 2009. They are presently lodged in the Tihar jail.
The accused policemen include erstwhile constables Satbir Singh, Sunil Saini, Chander Pal, Saurabh Nautiyal, Nagendra Nath, Vikas Chandra Baluni, Sanjay Rawat, Mohan Singh Rana, Inder Bhan Singh and Manoj Kumar and city’s police control room (PCR) Head Operator Jaspal Singh Gosain.
The other accused in the case are erstwhile Inspector Santosh Jaiswal, sub-inspectors Gopal Dutt Bhatt, Rajesh Bisht, Neeraj Kumar, Nitin Chauhan and Chandra Mohan and Constable Ajeet Singh.
They were arrested in wake of evidence that 22-year-old Singh, an MBA student from Ghaziabad, was allegedly gunned down by Uttarakhand Police after being caught at Mohini Road where he and his companions were allegedly trying to commit some crime on July 3, 2009.
The case was transferred to Delhi by the Supreme Court on the plea of Ranbir’s father Ravindra Singh.
Ranbir’s father had alleged that his son had gone to Dehradun in search of a job where he was arrested by the police on July 3, 2009 on pretext of being involved in some robbery.
He had alleged that on the same day, 29 bullets were pumped into his body and the incident was passed off as an encounter.
All the 18 policemen have been charged for various offences such as murder, kidnapping, criminal conspiracy, destruction of evidence and public servant framing incorrect record.