Bombay HC orders SIT probe in 2018 ‘fake’ encounter of wanted accused in theft cases

The Bombay High Court has ordered that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) be set up for a probe into the alleged fake encounter in 2018 of Joginder Rana, a wanted accused in several theft cases.

A division bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and Gauri Godse on Tuesday said the SIT shall be headed by the Thane police commissioner and a report shall be submitted to the court within four weeks.

The order was passed in a petition filed by Joginder Rana’s brother Surendra Rana, who claimed the alleged fake encounter was carried out by police naik Manoj Sakpal and head police constable Mangesh Chavan, who were attached to local crime branch at Nalasopara in Palghar district.

Surendra Rana’s advocate Datta Mane told the court that during and after the incident, public/eye witnesses had clicked photographs and recorded video clips which indicate the police carried out “fake” encounter of the deceased.

Mane submitted that Surendra Rana had made various representations to the Maharashtra government as well as senior police officials, like the director general of police and the superintendent of police at Palghar, seeking registration of an FIR.

During an earlier hearing, the Palghar superintendent of police filed an affidavit claiming it was Joginder Rana who had attacked the police first.

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As per the affidavit, on July 23, 2018, Chavan and Sakpal were coming to the police station when they spotted Joginder.

When the duo intercepted Joginder, he took out his knife and started attacking them.

In retaliation, Chavan shot two rounds at Joginder. He was declared dead at a hospital.

Chavan and Sakpal were admitted to a government hospital at Tulinj in Nalasopara area for medical treatment, the police said.

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