The four accused in the rape and murder of a Hyderabad veterinarian on Wednesday night were remanded to 14 days in judicial custody on Saturday amid protests by people outside Shadnagar Police Station, where the accused were kept since Friday night after their arrest.
Amid vocal protests by hundreds of people, demanding death penalty for the accused, the police decided to request the jurisdictional magistrate to visit the police station to take up the remand application.
The protest began around 9 am with a handful of people and soon became a huge gathering of angry people. “This was not organised by any NGO, political party or any organisation. We gathered here on our own. We are outraged by this inhuman act and want swift justice,’’ Anmula Karthik, a graphic designer who lives nearby and one of the protesters outside the police station, said.
The 27-year-old veterinarian, who went missing from Shamshabad toll plaza, near Hyderabad, on Wednesday night. The four accused raped and then burnt her to death, the police have said. Her burnt body was recovered the following day. Amid the protests on Saturday, Cyberabad Police Commissioner V C Sajjanar said, “We are assuring people that the case will be tried in a fast-track court and justice will be done. We understand the anger of the people, but we request them to be patient and let the law deal with this.’’
The people, though, seemed to be in no mood to listen to the police.
Four Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCPs) — of Cyberabad Police, Cyberabad Police Traffic branch, Special Operations Team, and Commissioner’s Task Force — arrived at Shadnagar Police Station in the afternoon to assess the situation. As angry protesters tried to enter the police station on a few occasions, the police had to use force to keep them at bay. They later closed the police station’s gates with chains and locks.
Some protesters demanded that the accused should be handed over to the public for swift justice.
After assessing the situation, the four DCPs decided to call for reinforcements and a convoy of over a dozen vehicles to take the accused to jail.
Earlier in the day, the police requested a team of government doctors to conduct a medical check-up of the accused at the police station itself, as they sensed it was risky to take them out in view of the protests. Around 4 pm, heavily armed special police personnel and reinforcements arrived, along with four minibuses and several police vehicles. At 4.30 pm, the four accused were brought out in a convoy, with many decoy police vehicles as a diversion.
Many protesters jumped in front of the police vehicles in a bid to stop the convoy, forcing police personnel to baton-charge the crowd.
The police initially informed the media that the accused would be shifted to Mahbubnagar district jail, but after leaving Shadnagar, police personnel stopped media and other vehicles tailing the convoy, which turned towards Hyderabad. The accused were finally taken to the high-security Chanchalguda prison in the state capital.
The Ranga Reddy District Bar Association has, meanwhile, decided that no lawyers will represent the accused. In a statement, the association said, “The executive committee of the Bar Association condemns the brutal murder by the accused. The committee further requests the members not to appear for the accused persons for the case. The executive committee demands the government of Telangana to establish a separate special court for expediting the trial of the case for instant justice.”
Lakhs of people, including ordinary citizens, school and college students, NGOs and others held protests and vigils across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Saturday. Telangana Governor Tamilisai Sounderarajan visited the veterinary doctor’s home and consoled her parents on Saturday afternoon.