Hyderabad: Eight days after the kidnap, rape and brutal murder of a 26-year-old veterinary assistant surgeon at Shadnagar, the four suspects in the case were killed in an alleged exchange of gunfire when they attempted to escape early on Saturday, a few metres away from the spot where they set the body of the victim ablaze.
As per the police version, the suspects, Mohammed Arif, 26, his accomplices Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen, and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu, all three aged 20, who were in 10-day custody of the police, were taken to the spot around 4.30 am on Friday by a 10-member police team to recover the victim’s mobile phone and power bank apart from for scene reconstruction.
The suspects were not handcuffed as they had to move around to show the scene of offence, how they burned the body and where they hid the mobile phone.
Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar told the media at the spot later that Arif and Chennakeshavulu had snatched two .9mm pistols from the policemen and fired at them. In the ensuing exchange of fire, which began at 5.45 am and lasted for about 20 minutes, all four were killed.
The shootout was in an agricultural land about 300 metres away from the culvert where the victim’s body was set ablaze and found in the wee hours of November 28, after being kidnapped, raped and smothered to death on the night of November 27 by the four suspects, two of them lorry drivers and the other two, cleaners.
Sub-Inspector Venkateswarlu and Constable Arvind Goud of Nandigama police station were injured in the initial scuffle when the suspects had attacked them with stones they picked up from the spot. The two are under treatment and out of danger.
With a large crowd gathering near the spot, the Revenue Divisional Officer visited the spot and conducted an inquest, after which the bodies were shifted to the Mahbubnagar Government Hospital for autopsy.
The encounter, which came at a time when a vast majority across the country were asking for the suspects to be punished with death, triggered widespread jubilation and condemnation at the same time, but with more lauding the Telangana Police for ‘serving instant justice’. The victim’s family thanked the police, while the mothers of the 2012 Delhi gang-rape victim and 2007 Vijayawada rape-murder were among those who appreciated the cops.
The crowd that gathered at the spot burst crackers, showered rose petals on the police personnel and raised slogans praising the Telangana police.