NHRC team begins on-the-spot probe into Hyderabad ‘encounter’

HYDERABAD: A National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) fact-finding team from Delhi on Saturday began its inquiry into an alleged encounter in which all the four accused in the rape and murder of a veterinarian were killed.

NHRC team begins on-the-spot probe into Hyderabad ‘encounter’

The NHRC team inspects the ‘encounter’ site in Hyderabad on Saturday. Tribune photo

uttara@tribuneindia.com

Naveen S Garewal

Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, December 7

A National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) fact-finding team from Delhi on a three-day visit to Telangana on Saturday began its on-the-spot investigation into the facts leading to an alleged encounter in which all the four accused in the Hyderabad gang-rape and murder case were killed on Friday.

The four accused were gunned down on the same spot where they had allegedly raped and murdered a 26-year-old veterinarian on November 27. The accused had been taken to the spot for the reconstruction of the crime scene.

 None of the members of the NHRC team spoke to the media. The team of the Investigation Division of the Commission is headed by a Senior Superintendent of Police.

Experts are probing if the encounter was genuine as claimed by the Telangana Police or was an extra-judicial killing as has been alleged by some human rights and civil liberty groups. The doctors accompanying the NHRC team are believed to have conducted a second autopsy on the bodies of the four accused in the Mahabubnagar Civil Hospital and videographed the proceedings. They will compare their report with the report of the first autopsy.

The Telangana High Court had on Friday directed the state government to preserve the bodies of four accused till 8:00 pm on December 9.

According to the police version, the four accused tried to flee after snatching weapons from the police and injuring two personnel when they were taken to the underpass where the charred body of the veterinary doctor was found.

The NHRC took cognisance of the killings of the four accused and ordered a probe on Friday.

“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 a fact-finding, on-the-spot investigation into the matter,” the NHRC said.

All the four accused were shot dead by the police on Friday during a pre-dawn exchange of fire near Hyderabad.

The four were arrested on November 29 for allegedly raping and killing the 25-year-old woman by smothering her and later torching the body after dumping it under the culvert.

Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar claimed in a press conference that the killings were in self-defence. However, some experts expressed their reservations and termed the killing as “cold-blooded murder”. Doubts have also been raised as Sajjanar is locally known as “encounter cop”, who was responsible for killing three men in Andhra Pradesh in 2008. He had said that the three who were accused of throwing acid on the faces of two women had to be shot dead by the police in self-defence.

The team also visited Chattanpalli village near Shadnagar, about 50 km from here, the site of the encounter and the underpass near a toll plaza on the city outskirts, where the woman was allegedly gang-raped.

The team will meet the families of the accused on Sunday morning.

 

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