In a spectacular twist to the horrific crime that terrorized the country, four accused in the Hyderabad rape and murder case of a young veterinarian in Telangana were shot dead early Friday morning as they pulled up police weapons and opened fire on them at the spot where the woman’s body was found.
Mohammed Arif (26), Jolu Shiva (20), Jolu Naveen (20) and Chinthakuntha Chennakeshava (20) were taken to the reconstruction of the case of the veterinarian woman’s burnt body at around 5.45 am.
Police say that the accused started attacking them with sticks, stones, and sharp objects, and seized their weapons.
“The four accused started attacking the police together. The authorities were reluctant and demanded surrender. But they fired on us and our officers retaliated,” Cyberabad police chief VC Sijjanar told reporters.
Shortly after, four bodies were scattered on the ground. Two of them held their guns – Mohamed Arif and Chennakeshavu.
Mr. Sajjanar said two policemen in the 10-member squad suffered head injuries (not bullet wounds).
“The law has served its purpose. That’s all I can say,” the official said, responding to doubts. All four were admitted and hardcore offenders. Also, a police chief said that “scientific evidence” has proven their role.
The bodies were evacuated six hours later. A large crowd gathered on the bridge overlooking the area and cheered the police by showering the rose petals on them.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) sends a team to investigate the shootings.
The four were arrested a day after the Hyderabad rape and murder case and have been in police custody since Wednesday.
On November 27, men, all truck-drivers and cleaners, saw a 27-year-old woman park her scooter near a toll-booth on a busy road. They disassembled her scooter tire, took her to the truck yard with the promise of fixing her scooter, massacred, strangled and burned her body to destroy evidence.
The woman’s father told the press: “It’s been 10 days since my daughter died. I thank the police and the government for this. My daughter’s soul must be at peace now.”
The controversial shooting has divided opinion on an incident that has been hotly debated for several days and has brought angry people onto the streets.
Incidentally, this is the second such encounter in Telangana, where women who were convicted of crimes against women were shot dead while trying to escape police custody. In December 2008, three accused of an acid attack were killed by Warangal police when they tried to attack the police at the crime scene. The present Commissioner of Police of Cyberabad VC Sajjanar was Warangal SP at the time.
Here is the crime scene incident
1. These four were imprisoned in the Cherlapally Central Jail on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The four were on the clock for 24 hours and were jailed in separate wards.
2. Earlier this week, the court sent four men into police custody. Since their arrest last week, four have been in judicial custody. The police moved a petition seeking the four men’s custody for further investigation. This Wednesday, the local court granted the police request and sent them to seven days of police custody.
3. On Thursday night, four members of the seven-member police team were taken by bus from Cherlapally Central Jail. The police wanted to reconstruct the incidents where the Telangana veterinarian was trapped and raped by four men last Wednesday.
4. For the reconstruction, the police followed the exact timeline of the crime, as happened last week. So, first, the police took the four to Shamshabad toll plaza in the outskirts of Hyderabad. The four men who identified the Telangana veterinary surgeon last week are planning to rape her.
5. At the toll plaza, police questioned the four men and matched their statements with what was revealed during the investigation.
6. According to the investigation in the Hyderabad rape and murder case, four men found the woman parked her scooter at the toll plaza last Wednesday night. Four alcoholics planned to rape her and one of them punctured the tire behind her scooter. When the woman returned, one of the four men was approached with the pretense of helping her fix her scooter’s punctured tire. Then, the four men dragged her to a nearby secluded compound and closed her before raping and setting her on fire.
7. Now, last night, with their investigation at Shamshabad Toll Plaza, a police team moved four people to Calvert on the Hyderabad-Bangalore road, under which the remains of a Telangana doctor were found last week.
8. It is, and things have come to execution, according to police. At Calvert, police said, the men – handcuffed – tried to escape. Unconfirmed reports say the men pulled one of the police guns and opened fire on the police.
9. Police have stated that they must fire on all fours because of the above incidents. The men were found dead about 300 meters from where the woman’s body was found last week. The four bodies were about 20-30 feet from each other. It was at 3 o’clock in the morning.
10. The police did not question much about the incidents that took place last night and Friday morning. The forensic team is investigating the scene of the incident and will carry out an investigation in accordance with the guidelines set by the Supreme Court for police encounters, officials said.