In a dramatic development in the Hyderabad rape-murder case, all four accused were shot dead by the Telangana Police in the early hours of Friday. The accused were reportedly taken to Chattapally post midnight in an attempt to recreate the crime scene when they allegedly tried to escape after attacking the police. An official told The Indian Express the police fired at them in self-defence and killed all four on the spot.
Chattapally, which is around 30 kilometres from Hyderabad, is where the accused allegedly burnt the body of a 27-year-old veterinary doctor on November 27. After an initial investigation, the police said they have reasons to believe the victim was also raped by the men. The accused were arrested on November 29 and were remanded to police custody.
In first confirmation of the incident, Cyberabad Police Commissioner V C Sajjanar told news agency PTI: “The four accused were killed in an encounter with police.”
“Will the police just watch if the accused attack them?” Sajjanar added.
An official told The Indian Express the accused were taken for the recce in the middle of the night to reconstruct the sequence of events, from when the stopped to buy petrol to burn the victim’s body to where her two-wheeler was disposed off. It was also “to avoid confrontation with the public.”
Incidentally, this is the second incident in Telangana where the accused of a heinous crime against women have been shot dead while allegedly trying to escape from police custody. On the night of December 12, 2008, the Warangal police shot dead three youths who threw acid on two engineering students. Both succumbed to their injuries. At the time, Sajjanar was Superintendent of Police of Warangal.
After the November 27 incident triggered outrage across the country, the Telangana government had set up a fast track court to hear the case. The court of First Additional District and Sessions Judge in Mahabubnagar district had been allotted the case.
The accused were charged under Sections 302 (Murder), 375 (Rape) and 362 (Abduction) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
According to the police, the accused had “hatched” the plan on the morning on November 27 after seeing the victim park her bike at the Tondupally toll plaza. After deflating the tire of her bike, they had offered to help her when she returned to collect it that evening. They had dragged her to the bushes some 50 metres from the toll plaza, and behind a line of trucks, sexually assaulted her. Innerwear found around 100 metres from the crime scene has led police to believe she was sexually assaulted.
“Her sister told her to leave the vehicle at the toll plaza parking and return home in a cab, and she agreed. A few minutes later, she called her sister back and said a couple of people had offered to get the tyre repaired and taken the vehicle with them. She told her sister that she felt awkward waiting on the side of the road all alone. After some time, her phone was switched off, and when the family could not trace her till midnight, they lodged a complaint at Shamshabad police station,’’ an officer told The Indian Express.
The partially burnt body had been recovered a day later on November 28.
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