The NHRC team inquiring into the alleged encounter in which all four accused in the rape and murder of a young veterinarian were shot dead by police on Sunday recorded statements of their family members.
The NHRC team inquiring into the alleged encounter in which all four accused in the rape and murder of a young veterinarian were shot dead by police on Sunday recorded statements of their family members. The investigative committee of the National Human Rights Commission also heard the next of kin of the victim. The family members of the accused were brought to the city from Narayanpet district and the NHRC team recorded their statements, police sources told PTI. Talking to reporters after interacting with the team, the woman veterinarian’s father said they (NHRC team) asked (our) problems and how the incident occurred….” He said the family came to know about the encounter only from television channels.
Earlier, some residents of the colony where the family of the woman veterinarian lived squatted in front of the locality, asking where the NHRC had been all these days. They displayed placards that read ‘we want justice’, ‘respect girls’ and ‘save women’, among others. They demanded to know why NHRC, which was now conducting a probe into the alleged police encounter, had been ‘silent’ on the gruesome gang-rape and murder of the victim and what the human rights body had done for the last 10 to 12 days. “Did they give any statement when such a thing happened to the victim and did any member come here? When criminals are killed in an encounter, they give statements that we are coming…to control police.
“…Don’t common people have human rights? They say dont seek instant justice? It has been eight-10 years since the Nirbhaya case. Is it instant? Common citizens are expecting this sort of treatment. What is wrong in it? some angry residents asked. The kin of the four accused on Sunday again expressed anguish over the police action and asked why they had to be killed when others accused of committing similar crimes are serving jail terms. “They (police) did the encounter intentionally…. they did it as pressure was mounting on them, the sister of one of the accused alleged. She told reporters in Naryanpet that her brother could not have run away (referring to police version that the accused tried to flee after attacking the police party).
A day after the pre-dawn ‘encounter’, which has triggered a raging debate over the police action, the seven-member committee was deputed by the NHRC on a ‘fact-finding’ probe. The team on Saturday had visited the mortuary at a state-run hospital in Mahabubnagar district, where the bodies of the four accused have been kept after post-mortem. The NHRC team, including a forensic medicine expert, had examined the bodies and also visited Chattanpalli village, about 50 kms from here, the spot where the charred remains of the woman were found beneath a culvert on November 28, and also the nearby encounter site.
Taking cognisance of the ‘encounter’ killings of the four accused on Friday, the commission had ordered the probe. The apex human rights body had said the encounter was a matter of concern and needed to be investigated carefully, following which the seven-member team had been deputed for “a fact-finding, on-the-spot investigation into the matter.” The post-mortem of the four accused had been performed at the Government District Hospital in Mahabubnagar district and videographed.
Meanwhile, the Telangana High Court which had on Friday directed the state government to preserve the bodies of four accused till 8 PM on December 9 will take up the matter for hearing on Monday. The court had issued the directive treating as a petition a representation received in the Office of the Chief Justice alleging that the ‘encounter’ was extra-judicial killings and requesting judicial intervention. All the four accused were gunned down by police on Friday morning at Chattanpalli when they were taken to the scene of crime near the culvert beneath of it where the charred remains of the 25-year-old woman veterinarian were found on November 28, to recover her phone, wrist-watch and others pertaining to the case.
The Cyberabad Police had said its personnel resorted to “retaliatory” firing after two of the accused opened fire at police after snatching their weapons besides attacking the latter with stones and sticks, resulting in injuries to two policemen. While the police action has largely come in for praise, it also evoked concerns over extra-judicial executions. The four were arrested on November 29 for allegedly raping and killing the 25-year-old woman by smothering her and later burning the body. Meanwhile, a local outfit lodged a complaint at a police station here, alleging it was a fake encounter and sought of registration of a case against the police personnel involved. However, a police official said no case was registered as the NHRC was already probing the matter.