STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Principal Sessions Judge Jammu Vinod Chatterji Koul on Thursday awarded rigorous life-imprisonment and a fine of Rs 50,000 to one Sanjay Kumar alias Sanju alias Neetu, son of Beli Ram resident of Ward No. 8, Tehsil Akhnoor while deciding a 23 year-old murder case.
According to prosecution, on November 27, 1994, there was a shoot-out in Akhnoor town after the auction for collecting entry fee at bus stand near Notified Area Committee office, Akhnoor.
Two persons sustained injuries in the shoot-out. The then SHO Police Station Akhnoor Choudhary Ahmed recorded statement of Darshan Singh, son of Sansar Singh, who had stated that he and his brother Jagdev Singh alias Jeban had taken part in the auction wherein over 15 contractors had participated. The auction was closed in his favour at Rs. 62,000.
Darshan further stated that after depositing the auction money, he and his brother Jagdev Singh accompanied by three to four others left for the market.
At 4;15 PM, when they reached near a shop, namely Sanjay Video Cassettes, Sanjay Kumar and Bishan Dass, who were carrying arms resorted to indiscriminate firing. His brother sustained injuries and was shifted to Government Medical College, Jammu.
FIR 230/94 under Section 307/34 RPC and 3/25 Arms Act was registered at Police Station Akhnoor.
After hearing Public Prosecutor R .K. Badyal, the Judge observed that considering the manner in which the offence was committed and taking over all impression of the nature of occurrence and the prosecution evidence, the case in my considered view falls in the category of the murder cases in which life imprisonment and not the death is appropriate sentence and ordered that Sanjay Kumar alias Neetu is, therefore, sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for life and to pay a fine of Rs. 50,000.
In default of payment of fine, the accused-convict shall undergo further imprisonment of the like nature for a period of one year.
In 1994, soon after the Jeban’s murder, Sanjay Kumar alias Sanju was arrested and lodged in Ambphalla jail, where he had allegedly murdered Sikandar alias Billoo inside the prison in 1997.
Later, Sanju was granted parole by the court. However, he jumped the parole and remained absconding for over 15 years. On April 20, 2017, Sanjay Kumar alias Sanju surrendered before the court after 15 years.
During 2006, his name was among the list of accused in police record, for allegedly murdering contractor Raju Chopra, his wife, daughter and a servant at Trikuta Nagar but he remained untraced throughout the investigation.
However, surprisingly, after his surrender in April this year, Jammu Police did not take his custody for interrogation in Chopra murder case. Even police didn’t inquire about the persons or places where he took shelter during the past about 15 years of his hiding.
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