CBI questions cops in fake encounter case in Jharkhand

Ranchi (IANS) The CBI has interrogated two officials of the Jharkhand Police in an alleged fake encounter case dating to 2015.

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team reached Palamau on Wednesday to interrogate Mohhamad Rustam, then officer-in-charge of Satbarba police station in Latehar district, and Gulam Rabbani, then officer-in-charge of Manika police station, sources said. 

According to the police, 12 Maoists were killed in an encounter at Bakoria village in Latehar district. 

During interrogation, Rustam, who had lodged the FIR of the encounter, turned hostile and reportedly informed the CBI that he was forced to sign the FIR by senior police officials, sources said.

Rabbani told the CBI that he was not aware of the encounter despite the fact that his police station was located close to the encounter spot.

Earlier, the case was investigated by the state CID, who gave a clean chit to the police officials. 

The father of one of those killed had filed a PIL in the High Court seeking a CBI probe. At the directive of the Jharkhand High Court, the Bakoria encounter case was handed over to the CBI. 

Questions were raised over the encounter when Harish Pathak, officer-in-charge of Sadar police station, refused to lodge an FIR of the encounter. Suspicions strengthened after the transfer of M.V. Rao, Additional Director General of Police, CID, to New Delhi. He was reportedly told not to come to Jharkhand without permission. 

The CBI is also likely to question then Palamau Superintendent of Police Kannaiha Mayur Patel, and Deputy Inspector General and Additional Director General of Police rank officials.

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