A special CBI court on Monday awarded life sentence to 47 policemen who were found guilty of killing 11 Sikh pilgrims in a fake encounter in Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh in 1991.
According to media reports, nearly 25 years after the incident, the court, on Friday, had convicted the accused policemen under various sections on the IPC. Of the 47 sentenced, 27 are missing.
On July 12, 1991 the policemen accosted a group of Sikh pilgrims who were returning home after visiting various holy places, including Nanakmatha, Patna Sahib, Huzur Sahib and made them alight the bus. All the pilgrims were killed in what the cops billed as an 'encounter'.
The policemen claimed that those killed were terrorists and had weapons in their possession.
However, a PIL was filed in the Supreme Court which directed the CBI to probe the incident.
During the investigation the CBI found that the policemen intercepted the bus in which the pilgrims, including women and children, were travelling.
The cops dragged the men out of the bus and made them sit in another vehicle while the women and children were taken to a gurdwara in Pilibhit. Later, the cops killed the men after separating them into three groups and taking them to different locations.
The investigating agency filed chargesheets against as many as 57 policemen. Among the 57, 10 died during the course of the trial.