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Published On: Fri, Dec 6th, 2019

“The law has taken its own course,”That’s all I can say: Police

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Hyderabad: Onlookers gather near the encounter site, where four accused in the rape-and-murder case of a 25-year-old woman veterinarian were shot dead by police, at Shadnagar of Ranga Reddy district in Hyderabad, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. (PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak)(PTI12_6_2019_000124A)

Hyderabad: Onlookers gather near the encounter site, where four accused in the rape-and-murder case of a 25-year-old woman veterinarian were shot dead by police, at Shadnagar of Ranga Reddy district in Hyderabad, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. (PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak)(PTI12_6_2019_000124A)

CYBERABAD : Police have shot dead four men suspected of raping and killing a young female veterinary Doctor  in Hyderabad last week. The men were in police detention and were taken back to the scene of the crime in the early hours of Friday.
According to police the suspects were shot when they tried to steal the officers’ guns and escape,. However, human rights organisations including Amnesty International have called for investigations to determine if these were extrajudicial killings.
“The law has done its duty. That’s all I can say,” the officer said to doubts raised on police claims. The Telangana High Court has asked for the post-mortem video of the accused to be submitted and asked for the bodies of the accused to be preserved till Monday, 8 pm.

The accused, Mohammed Arif (26), Jollu Shiva (20), Jollu Naveen (20) and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu (20), had been taken to the scene of the crime around 5.45 am for a reconstruction around the same time the woman had been raped and killed last week, the police said. They were not handcuffed, say the police.

Interrogation over the past four days had revealed many details, said Mr Sajjanar, based on which the police team had taken the accused to look for the woman’s mobile phone and other objects at the site where her charred body was found, around 50 km from Hyderabad.
“All four accused got together and started attacking the police party. Officers maintained restraint and asked them to surrender but without listening to us they kept firing. Our officers retaliated,” Mr Sajjanar said. The accused men, he claimed, had managed to snatch their weapons and use them easily because the guns were “already unlocked”.
Extrajudicial killings are not a solution to preventing rape,” said Avinash Kumar, executive director of Amnesty International India. The 27-year-old rape victim’s charred remains were discovered last Thursday – leading to outrage and protests over alleged police inaction.
After news of the killings broke, the victim’s mother told “justice has been done”, while neighbours celebrated with firecrackers, and thousands of people took to the streets to hail the police. Why Indians are celebrating the killings in Hyderabad How do the police explain the shooting?
Ten armed policemen took the four suspects – who were not handcuffed – to the scene of the crime to reconstruct the incident early on Friday, said VC Sajjanar, police commissioner of the Hyderabad suburb of Cyberabad.  The toll plaza where the rape and murder took place is close to the suburb, which houses a number of global tech companies like Microsoft and Google.

The police were looking for the victim’s phone, power bank and watch which were reported missing, the police commissioner said. “The four men got together and started to attack the officers with stones and sticks and also snatched away weapons from two officers and started firing,” the commissioner said, in response to questions about why the men had been killed.
Thousands protested outside a police station in Hyderabad after the rape case “Although the officers maintained restraint and asked them to surrender, they continued to fire and attack us. This went on for 15 minutes. We retaliated and four accused got killed.”

Two officers suffered head injuries but these were not caused by bullets, he added. The two police officers were admitted to hospital, he said”Let me tell you this. The law has taken its own course,” he added. The police were heavily criticised after the rape and murder of the vet – particularly when the victim’s family accused them of inaction for two hours.
The BBC Telugu’s Deepthi Bathini visited the family in their home, where neighbours could be seen celebrating the news by setting off firecrackers and distributing sweets. “I can’t put it into words. I felt happiness but also grief because my daughter will never come home,” the victim’s mother said.
“My daughter’s soul is at peace now. Justice has been done. I never thought we would get justice. No other girl should experience what my daughter did.”  News of the police action has been widely celebrated on social media.Many took to Twitter and Facebook to applaud the police, saying they had “delivered justice”. The mother of a student who died after being gang-raped on a bus in capital Delhi in 2012 also hailed the killing.
A few have questioned the police’s version of events. Thousands of people gathered at the site of the encounter Prakash Singh, a retired police officer and a key architect of police reforms, told the BBC the killings were “entirely avoidable”.”Abundant caution should be taken when people in custody are being taken to the court or the scene of the crime,” he said.
“They should be secured, handcuffed and properly searched before they are taken out. All kinds of things can happen if the police are not careful.”But Mr Singh said it was too early to say if the incident was an extrajudicial killing – known popularly in India as an “encounter killing”.
In the days after the rape and murder, thousands of people had protested at Hyderabad police station, insisting the killers faced the death penalty. Jaya Bachchan, a former Bollywood star who is now an MP in India’s upper house of parliament, said earlier this week that the accused men should be “lynched”.
Last week, three police officers were suspended when the victim’s family accused them of not acting quickly enough when the woman was reported missing.Officers had suggested she may have eloped, relatives told the National Commission for Women, a government body.
Rape and sexual violence against women have been in focus in India since the December 2012 gang-rape and murder of a young woman on a bus in the capital, Delhi. But there has been no sign that crimes against women are abating. According to government figures, police registered 33,658 cases of rape in India in 2017, an average of 92 rapes every day.
(With Agency Inputs ).

 

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