New Delhi: Amid high drama with a large crowd facing off against the police, the four accused in the rape and murder of a woman veterinarian in Telangana were sent to judicial custody for 14 days on Saturday.
The executive magistrate passed the order at the Shadnagar police station, where they were lodged, as they could not be produced before the court following the presence of a restive crowd in front of the station demanding the accused be handed over to them.
The accused — Mohammed Arif, Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu, Jollu Shiva and Jollu Naveen — are likely to be shifted to Mahabubnagar jail.
The police had to use mild force to control the crowd. Stones and slippers were hurled at a police vehicle as the accused were being taken to a jail in Hyderabad.
Security forces maintained tight vigil as people staged protests outside the station and shouted slogans against the culprits who raped and killed the 25-year-old veterinarian before burning her body two days ago.
Police said the protests broke out in the morning and continued till the evening. The crowd later dispersed. Some of the protesters demanded death penalty for the accused.
Similar rallies and protests held at several places in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana also demanded capital punishment for the four accused.
The 25-year-old veterinary doctor, who worked in a state-run hospital, was raped and killed by the four youth, all lorry workers, on the outskirts of the city, on Wednesday night. Her charred body was discovered a day later.
The Cyberabad police on Friday night announced the arrest of the four accused, who allegedly trapped the victim by deflating a tyre of her scooter that had been parked near the toll plaza.
The accused — two truck drivers and two cleaners — hail from Narayanpet district in Telangana.
Leaders assure speedy trial
Doctors, who conducted medical tests on the accused as per procedure, said their condition was normal.
The local bar association has resolved not to offer any legal assistance to the accused in the case.
Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy and a number of other leaders called on the members of the deceased woman's family.
Condemning the incident, both said the government would ensure that the culprits would get tough punishment through expeditious investigation and trial.
However, the victim's family on Saturday told the National Commission for Women (NCW) that the Hyderabad Police wasted precious time which could have been used to save the deceased's life.
NCW chief Rekha Sharma said a team of the women's panel visited the veterinarian's family who told them the police played a "negative role" in the case. The family members also said the police even alleged she had eloped with someone, Sharma said.
(With inputs from agencies)