A special CBI court in Ahmedabad has sentenced two retired and one serving officers of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to life imprisonment for the custodial murder of a cook 27 years ago, officials said here on Friday. Girija Rawat, a cook at the air force station in Jamnagar, was tortured to death in November 1995 after it was suspected that he stole liquor the canteen.
The convicted officers are Anoop Sood, then a Squadron Leader at the Air Force-I in Jamnagar, and then Sergeants Anil K N and Mahendra Singh Sherawat. Sood, who retired as Group Captain, claims to be an orientation programme speaker and a trained commando from the NSG on his social media profile.
Anil also retired the IAF, while Sehrawat was still serving. The CBI had taken over the case on February 22, 2012 on the orders of the Gujarat High Court on a plea of Rawat’s wife.
“…It was further alleged that on November 13, 1995, 10-12 Air Force Police Officials, including then Squadron Leader Anoop Sood, conducted searches at the residence of Rawat and took him with them forcibly to confess about stealing of liquor from the Air Force Canteen,” CBI Spokesperson R C Joshi said. He said Rawat’s wife visited the guard room in the evening seeking release of her husband.
“She was told that her husband would be released soon. The accused allegedly tortured him which caused his death. On November 14, 1995, she was informed about the death of her husband and was asked to collect the body,” Joshi said. After thorough investigation, the CBI filed a charge sheet on July 30, 2013 against the accused on the charges of criminal conspiracy and murder, he said.
“The trial court found the said accused guilty and convicted them (recently). Three accused were acquitted by the court and one accused expired during the trial,” Joshi said.
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