Telangana HC Orders Preservation of Bodies of Rape Accused Killed in Police Encounter Till Dec 13
The HC's order came while hearing two petitions seeking a comprehensive probe into the December 6 incident in which the accused were gunned down by police during an investigation into a veterinarian’s gang-rape and murder case.
File photo of policemen guarding the area where the four accused in the rape-and-murder case of a 25-year-old woman veterinarian were shot dead by police in Hyderabad.
Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court on Monday directed the authorities to preserve till Friday the bodies of all four accused who were gunned down by police last week near Shadnagar town during the investigation into a woman veterinarian’s gang-rape and murder case.
The court took up hearing of two petitions, seeking a comprehensive probe into December 6 incident.
The division bench, headed by Chief Justice RS Chauhan, wanted to know if police had followed the Supreme Court guidelines in the matter. The court also wanted the government to provide evidence of the same. The court also appointed Desai Prakash Reddy as amicus curie in the case.
A counsel of the petitioners told reporters that Advocate General BS Prasad submitted to the bench that similar petitions were being heard by the Supreme Court. He sought that the case be adjourned to Thursday as the hearing in the apex court is scheduled for Wednesday.
The court agreed with the advocate general and posted the case to Thursday for further hearing.
When it was brought to the court’s notice that the Government Medical College in Mahabubnagar lacked facilities to preserve the body for a longer duration, the court issued orders for shifting them to Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad.
Earlier, the court on December 6 had passed orders for preserving the bodies till December 9.
The orders had come on a representation by various human rights and women's groups requesting judicial intervention into what they called 'extra judicial killings' of the four accused.
The petition, signed by as many as 15 organisations, said the encounter was carried out in violation of the Supreme Court guidelines.
Rajendra Prasad, an advocate, has also filed a petition on the encounter.
All the four accused were killed by police in an alleged exchange of fire at Chatanpally near Shadnagar town early on December 6. Police claimed the accused had snatched weapons from police party and opened fire and in the retaliatory fire by police all four were killed.
The incident occurred when police had taken the accused to Chatanpally for recreation of crime scene and collect evidence. It was at this place that the accused had allegedly set afire the victim after sexually assaulting and killing her on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
Meanwhile, the state government constituted a special investigation team (SIT) on Sunday to probe the killing of the four accused.
The eight-member SIT, led by Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh M Bhagwat, should immediately take over the investigation in the case registered over the "exchange of fire" and all other related cases registered in the state as per Supreme Court guidelines, it said. The team held a meeting on Monday to discuss all issues involving the encounter.
A seven-member team of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has also started an investigation into the alleged police encounter. The team has met family members of veterinarian as well as the accused and recorded their statements.
(With inputs from IANS)
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