Hyderabad: NHRC team begins probe, examines bodies and scene of ‘encounter’

Nellie Chapman
December 8, 2019

A case was registered against four accused, arrested for the alleged rape and murder of a woman veterinarian near here last month and killed in an encounter, for "attacking" the police personnel. Police were forced to call in reinforcements to prevent an enraged mob from lynching the suspects on the spot, ultimately dispersing the crowd when demonstrators began hurling projectiles at officers.The accused were identified as Mohammad Areef - the prime suspect - Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen, and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu. One legislator called in parliament for the suspects to be "lynched".

The NHRC had taken cognizance of the encounter killings and ordered an inquiry.

"Death of four persons in an alleged encounter with the police personnel when they were in their custody, is a matter of concern for the commission", the Commission said. "So, as the (police) party approached this area today, (during the) early hours, all the four accused got together, they started attacking the police party with stones, sticks, and other materials and also they snatched away weapons from our two officers and started firing".

A police team from Cyberabad accompanied the NHRC team from the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Shamshabad to the encounter spot.

The 27-year-old woman was gang-raped and set ablaze on the night of November 27.

However, some rights groups and politicians criticised the killings, saying they were concerned the judicial process had been sidestepped.

More than 33,000 rapes were reported in India in 2017, according to the latest government figures, but vast numbers go unreported, experts say, with just 32 percent of cases ending in convictions. The police in self-defence fired back resulting in the death of the four men.

But he pointed out that many rape victims were still fighting for justice.

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The father of the victim said, "I would like to thank and congratulate the Telangana government, police, and all those who supported me".

Her neighbours distributed candies and burst firecrackers.

Social media was nonetheless rife with criticism of the police action.

Elsewhere in the country, there were other protests and vigils for the victim, who can not be named under Indian law.

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.

"This is murder in cold blood".

The incident took place just three days before a veterinarian doctor was raped and murdered in Hyderabad.

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