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Air Force officers get ‘life sentences’ for killing mess cook 27 years ago!

Three former Indian Air Force servicemen have been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a man who was working as a chef for the defence wing in Gujarat’s Jamnagar 27 years ago. An Ahmedabad court convicted Anoop Sood, then the IAF’s Squadron Leader in Jamnagar, Anil KN, and Mahendra Singh Sherawat, then sergeants in the force, and sentenced them to life in jail for the murder of Girja Rawat.

On November 13, 1995, over a dozen Air Force Police officers, including then Squadron Leader Anoop Sood, reportedly conducted searches at Girja Rawat’s residence and forcibly removed him. He was also allegedly forced to admit to stealing whiskey from the Air Force cafeteria.

Rawat’s wife went to the guard room that evening and asked the officials to release her husband. Her spouse will be released shortly, she was informed. The suspects then reportedly tortured Girja Rawat, killing him. The following day, she was notified of her husband’s death and instructed to retrieve the body. On February 22, 2012, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a case on the instructions of the Gujarat High Court following a plea submitted by Rawat’s wife, and took over the investigation from the Gujarat Police.

Rawat had been a cook at the Air Force-I mess in Jamnagar for around 15 years and was working there when the tragedy occurred. On July 30, 2013, the CBI issued a chargesheet against the defendants following a thorough investigation. Rawat’s autopsy indicated ante-mortem interior and exterior damage. The defendants were found guilty and convicted by the trial court. The court acquitted three of the defendants, and one died during the trial.


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