MUMBAI: Gujarat-cadre IPS officer R S Bhagora, convicted in the 2002 Bilkis Bano case, was dismissed from service by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on May 30, a day before his retirement, a state government official said on Friday.
The 60-year-old officer, who was to retire on May 31, was serving as Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) with Ahmedabad Police when his dismissal order arrived, said M R Soni, Deputy Secretary (Inquiry) in the Gujarat Home Department.
“The state Home Department had received a communication from the Union Home Ministry ordering dismissal of Bhagora from service on May 29. We had served the order on May 30, which effectively means he was sacked a day before his retirement,” said Soni.
Bhagora, a state police service officer, was promoted to the IPS cadre in 2006.Following his dismissal, Bhagora will not get the benefits retired government employees are entitled to.
In March this year, the Supreme Court had asked the Gujarat government to take disciplinary action against five police officials, including Bhagora, convicted by the Bombay High Court for dereliction of duty in the Bilkis Bano gang-rape case during the 2002 riots in the state.
Among the erring police officials, four—a deputy superintendent of police, two inspectors and a constable—have retired from service.
On Bano’s request, the apex court had transferred the case to Mumbai in August 2004.
A special court in Mumbai had awarded the life sentence to 11 men for raping Bano, who was five months pregnant at the time of the crime and murdering seven of her family members during the riots.
The trial court had acquitted five policemen, including Bhagora, who were booked for dereliction of duty in the case.
After their acquittal was challenged, the Bombay High Court had in 2017 convicted the five policemen under sections 218 (not performing their duties) and 201 (tampering of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code. The Supreme Court dismissed appeals by the cops.