JAIPUR: A court here today acquitted a senior IPS officer and 13 other serving and retired police officials in the high profile Dara Singh alleged fake encounter case of 2006.
Liquor smuggler Dara Singh alias Daria, a resident of Churu district, was killed in an alleged fake encounter with police on the outskirts of Jaipur on October 23, 2006.
His family had pointed fingers at the then cabinet minister in the Rajasthan's BJP government and present State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore claiming that Dara was targeted because of personal enmity.
The Supreme Court, following a petition by his widow Sushila Devi, had ordered a CBI inquiry in the case which had resulted in the arrest of policemen including two IPS officers and Rathore.
The additional district judge acquitted all the 14 accused in offences under sections including 302 (murder) of IPC, advocate A K Jain, counsel for two of the accused, said.
Those who were acquitted in the case are 1991-batch IPS officer A Ponnuchamy, at present posted as ADG (Police Housing), Arshad Ali (Additional SP rank), Rajesh Chaudhary, Nisar Khan, Subhash Godara, Naresh Sharma (all Inspector rank police officers), Satyanarayan Godara, Surendra Singh, Julfikar, Arvind Bharadwaj (all Sub-Inspector rank), Badri Prasad and Jagram (both Head constable rank), Sardar Singh (police driver) and retired Sub-Inspector Munshi Lal.
BJP leader and the present state parliamentary affairs minister Rathore and now retired IPS officer A K Jain were also named in the case that was investigated by the CBI but they were discharged by courts in the past.
The then opposition (BJP) MLA Rathore was arrested by the CBI on April 5, 2012, charging him with criminal conspiracy to kill liquor smuggler Dara Singh but he was discharged by the district and sessions court of all criminal charges on May 31, 2012 and he walked out of the jail whereas A K Jain, who retired from Jail, was discharged by high court in February 2015.
The involvement of senior officers and Rathore was based on telephone calls exchanged which, the accused said, were for official purposes.