Dead bodies of the accused in the rape and murder of the woman veterinarian seen at the spot where they were killed in an encounter with the police, in Hyderabad on Friday (Photo: ANI)
Dead bodies of the accused in the rape and murder of the woman veterinarian seen at the spot where they were killed in an encounter with the police, in Hyderabad on Friday (Photo: ANI)

Encounter killing of Hyderabad rape suspects splits public opinion

  • The deep schisms on the incident were reflected on Twitter and other social media sites as thousands of people aired their views
  • 'The commission is of the opinion that this matter is required to be probed very carefully,' said National Human Rights Commission

Hyderabad: The encounter killing of the four suspects in the rape and murder of a 26-year-old veterinarian in the early hours of Friday near Hyderabad swung public opinion in favour of the police action before raising questions on the veracity of police claims.

Subsequently, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) took cognizance of the incident and sent a team to inquire into the encounter killing, which took place off the National Highway 44, where the woman’s charred body was found on 28 November.

“The commission is of the opinion that this matter is required to be probed very carefully. Accordingly, it has asked its director general (investigation) to immediately send a team for fact finding on the spot. The team of the investigation division of the commission headed by an SSP, is expected to leave immediately and submit its report at the earliest," said an NHRC statement.

The four slain suspects, identified as Mohammed Arif, J. Naveen, J. Shiva and Chennakesavulu, were shot dead by the Telangana police when they allegedly attacked the police team and tried to escape.

The police said that its personnel were at the spot to reconstruct the crime scene that led to the rape and murder of the veterinary doctor on the intervening night of 27-28 November.

The woman was set on fire near Shadnagar, on the outskirts of Hyderabad, under the Cyberabad police limits.

Cyberabad police commissioner V.C. Sajjanar told reporters on Friday that the confession statement of the four men was taken after the cops got their custody.

“We came with them to the spot. At this time, they started attacking our party and snatched weapons and opened fire," Sajjanar said, adding that the police officials retaliated and killed all the four accused.

“The law has taken its own course. We requested them to surrender, but they refused to listen and tried to flee. They snatched our weapons. They told the 10 officers present there that the victim’s phone was present here (near the spot of the crime)," he said.

People who gathered at the site of the encounter raised slogans supporting the police action (Photo: PTI)
People who gathered at the site of the encounter raised slogans supporting the police action (Photo: PTI)

In December 2008, when Sajjanar was the district superintendent of Warangal, the police had gunned down three suspects for throwing acid on two female engineering students.

Swapnika and Pranitha, from Warangal town, were attacked after Swapnika had rejected the proposal of Srinivas Rao, who was also killed in the alleged encounter.

Meanwhile, the Union home ministry on Friday forwarded the mercy plea of the 2012 Delhi gangrape and murder convict, Vinay Sharma, to President Ram Nath Kovind, urging him to reject the petition.

In 2017, the Supreme Court had rejected the petition of the four convicts challenging the death penalty awarded to them. Earlier this month, the Delhi government had also said Sharma’s death penalty should be upheld.

Twitter was taken by storm as news trickled in of the Hyderabad encounter killings, with many people congratulating the Telangana police for “delivering quick justice".

But a section of twitterati was taken aback by the brazen nature of the police action.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s chief spokesperson from Telangana, Krishna Saagar Rao, said while rape and murder must be condemned, the country is not a banana republic, and is bound by a legal and constitutional framework.

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