Telangana encounter: Supreme Court to hear petition seeking action against police on Wednesday
The petitioners said the encounter was done ‘deliberately’ to divert public attention from the inability of the police to prevent crimes against women.
The Supreme Court on Monday said a petition seeking investigation and registration of First Information Report against the police personnel involved in the encounter of four men accused of raping and murdering a veterinarian will be heard on Wednesday, ANI reported.
Advocates GS Mani and Pradeep Kumar Yadav had filed the petition on Saturday. They said the top court’s 2014 guidelines were not followed in the case, and that the encounter was done “deliberately” to divert public attention from the inability of the police to prevent crimes against women.
On Sunday, the Telangana government constituted a Special Investigation Team to probe the killings. It will be headed by Rachakonda Commissioner of Police Mahesh M Bhagwat and will immediately begin investigation into the case and examine the evidence gathered so far by the Cyberabad Police.
The Telangana High Court has also intervened in the case. On Friday, the court had directed the state government that the bodies of the four men should be preserved till 8 pm on Monday and to video record the postmortem examinations.
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. It will hear the case later on Monday.
Police version of the encounter
In the early hours of Friday, the Telangana Police had said the four men accused of raping and murdering a veterinarian were killed in an encounter when they were trying to flee from custody. The accused had tried to flee when they were taken to the murder site to reconstruct the crime scene and allegedly snatched a weapon and fired at the police, resulting in a cross-fire.
The accused – Mohammed Areef, Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu – were arrested on November 29 for allegedly raping and killing the woman before burning her body two days earlier. They were under judicial custody and lodged in high security cells in Cherlapally Central Prison.
The National Human Rights Commission on Friday had sent a team to immediately conduct a spot inquiry and said the matter needs to be investigated “very carefully”. Human rights organisation Amnesty International India had also criticised the killings, saying the incident sets a “disturbing precedent of circumventing the legal system” and called for an independent inquiry.
A number of other people had also warned about the dangers of “extra-judicial killings” while several politicians praised the Telangana Police and the government for “delivering justice”.
On Saturday, Chief Justice of India SA Bobde had said justice must never ever take the form of revenge. He had added the justice system must reconsider its attitude towards laxity in disposing criminal matters and that the judiciary must be aware of the changes and perception about itself.