Another Cop In Jail

After the disgraced SP Sewak Singh was convicted for murder of a subordinate last month, the court awarded life sentence to another officer, this time a former SSP. Karnail Singh goes to jail for life along with his wife and six others for killing husband of his daughter and misusing the department for the crime, a Kashmir Life report.

The court finally delivered justice to the Brahmin bus driver and mechanic Nitin Sharma whose decomposed corpse was recovered by police from a canal in Jammu days after his murder in 2005. The Principal Sessions Judge, Jammu, Jang Bahadur Singh Jamwal awarded life sentence to disgraced SSP Karnail Singh, his wife Ratno, an erstwhile SPO and a police driver, besides four others.

Police investigations into the sensational case suggest that Singh’s daughter Ritu had a long time love affair with Nitin. She was using an SPO, posted at her father’s residence, to communicate with her lover. Both of them finally fled home and married on March 31, 2005. Before and after marriage they were out of Jammu for a long time. Finally, however, they returned home.

Singh got his daughter back. He kept her under tight guard and did not permit her to move around. This led to the runaway bride jumping from the rooftop of her home to meet her husband. She suffered fractures and landed up in hospital for a few months.

Singh, according to police investigations and the charge sheet on basis of which the court decided the case, tried his best to make his daughter forget her love and even threatened him. Later, he rung up his family and told them he would murder the boy within a week. But it did not bring the young couple to forget each other. Finally, the officer – who was heading IRP Bn 6 based at Rajouri, hatched a conspiracy to kill the boy.

Mrs Devi made a final choice and it was Naresh Kumar, an SPO, resident of Langer, the same village where from Singh hails. He demanded half a million rupees finally agreeing for the job at Rs 130 thousand, regularization as a constable in the police and a lavish party after the mission is accomplished. The choice of selecting Kumar was simple – he was the main conduit and go between for the couple during their affair and knew everything.

On August 24, 2005, Naresh talked to Nitin and got his whereabouts. Nitin was then living in a rented accommodation in Sanjay Nagar. After being informed by Naresh, Mrs Devi asked Suresh, the driver of SSP official car JK01F 1117, to go to Langer and do whatever Naresh says. By then Naresh had set up his team – Sonu, Jambo, Jeeta and Lucky. They boarded the flag car and reached Sanjay Nagar. Naresh contacted the deceased on his cell phone from a PCO, Chib Sales Corporation STD and asked him to reach Dogra Academy. As they saw Nitin, they kidnapped him and tied his hands.

Nitin was driven to Langer where they tortured him at the ancestral residence of the SSP. The crime scene suggested the boy was tied to a wardrobe in the house with ropes as the entire gang was on his head. As the gang was in control of its prey, Naresh rang up his mater Mrs Devi and said the boys are seeking money. She initially asked him to come to their Channi Himmat official quarters to collect it but Kumar said he didn’t havethat much time. Finally, Mrs Devi despatched another cop Sukhchain Singh with Rs 10,000 for Kumar. Though he reached Langer but he was not granted access into the villa. However, Mrs Devi reminded Kumar on phone to ensure the number plate of her husband’s official car is changed which they did.

The gang waited till it was completely dark. They set out of the villa at around 10:30 pm and started towards Jammu. They reached Greater Kailash where a canal takes off near the Fountain Chowk. Nitin did his best to flee and in fact tried to jump into a ditch but he was overpowered. They used shoe-laces to strangulate him and used a basketball bat to hit his head continuously. After they ensured that Nitin was dead, they threw his body in the canal and fled.

Gangyal police station, where the case was registered did not take much time in settling the case. Nitin’s corpse was recovered on August 26. Five accused including SPO Kumar were rounded up on August 31. Singh and Devi went underground with their driver. Finally the trio surrendered before the then SP (City) Sheikh Mehmood on September 2. They were immediately taken into custody. The official car was recovered. Singh was immediately placed under suspension. During interrogation, the accused spilled beans and said they were working for Mr and Mrs SSP.

More than six years later, court passed the verdict. It made various observations. The one most important was that Singh was supposed to be protector of the society but he started dispensing justice himself. “The act of the accused was such that it had shattered the consciousness of the Court,” the verdict read. The supari giving couple and the contract killers were given lifers under section 302, 364,120-B, 109 RPC.

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