According to the information provided by the side of the prosecution, the victim, identified as Ranbir Singh, travelled to the northern Indian city of Dehradun in search of a job. However, local police arrested him and put in custody over robbery allegations.
The police press releases claimed that Singh was a part of an extortion gang, who was gunned down trying to escape. An investigation proved that these statements were totally false, and the graduate died in custody after being tortured and shot 12 times from close distance.
Ranbir Singh killed by police officers
* Body of the late job seeker found in a forest. Photo credit – NDTV
The 17 convicts pleaded not guilty and intend to appeal the ruling. The victim’s family insisted that the trial should be at a court in the capital city, New Delhi, due to fears that involvement of local police in Dehradun, Uttarakhand state, would prevent justice from happening.
Members of the victim’s family also informed on the judgment day that they had hoped the officers would be given the death penalty. The case and the decision are unprecedented for the country. Indian security operatives are often being accused of killing innocent people while forcing them to confess or for other unlawful reasons.
For instance, in a recent case in Uttar Pradesh state, Northern India, two policemen were among the arrested suspects of a shocking gang rape case. Two girls, aged 14 and 15, were gang raped, murdered and hanged on a tree on May 27, 2014. The deceased belonged to the lowest caste (class) therefore police officers were not eager to investigate the matter thoroughly. Moreover, some of them are suspected of being a part of the crime.