Hyderabad: The families of the slain accused in the 25-year-old woman veterinarian’s gang-rape and murder case will have to wait longer to conduct their last rites as the bodies were preserved on the direction of Telangana High Court.
The court, at an emergency hearing late on Friday evening, directed the authorities to preserve the bodies till December 9 when Chief Justice RS Chauhan will take up hearing of a petition filed by various rights’ groups, seeking comprehensive probe into ‘extra-judicial killings’ at the hands of police.
One truck driver and three cleaners, who allegedly gang-raped and killed the veterinarian on November 27, were killed in an alleged ‘encounter’ by the police at Chatanpally near Shadnagar early Friday.
After conducting autopsy on all four bodies at the government-run hospital in Mahabubnagar town on Friday night, the bodies were preserved at mortuary.
Police made elaborate security arrangements at the hospital premises by deploying armed personnel and erecting barricades on approaching roads.
A fact-finding team of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is likely to visit the hospital later on Saturday to see the bodies and gather details from officials concerned and forensic experts.
After the visit by NHRC team, the bodies may be shifted to Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad as Mahabubnagar hospital lacks the facilities to preserve the bodies for a longer duration.
The families of the slain accused were waiting at the hospital to receive the bodies when the High Court intervened to direct the authorities to preserve the bodies till Monday. It also asked the government to videograph the autopsy.
Advocate General BS Prasad told the High Court that a team of forensic experts from Hyderabad’s Gandhi Hospital conducted the autopsy and the entire process was videographed. The court directed that the video be handed over to Mahabubnagar district judge, who in turn will submit the same to the bench.
After Friday’s encounter, the police had brought some relatives of the deceased from their villages in Narayanpet district to Mahabubnagar to handover the bodies after autopsy. However, the process came to a halt following High Court’s intervention. Police forces were deployed in the villages of the slain accused.
Widow of accused angry
Hyderabad: The widow of one of the accused, killed in an alleged exchange of fire with the police in the veterinarian gang-rape and murder case near here, on Saturday expressed anguish and anger over her husband’s death even as celebrations over the police action continued in the city.
How many are there in jail for having made mistakes…They should also be shot dead the way these (accused in woman vet case) were shot… We will not bury the bodies till then. We will bury (the bodies) only when they too are shot, said Renuka, Chennakeshavulu’s widow.
The young woman, who is pregnant,alleging that injustice had been done to her,squatted on the road along with some others at her village in Narayanpet district. She said on Friday that police should kill her too as she was now alone. “I was told nothing will happen to my husband and he would come back soon. Now I don’t know what to do. Please take me to the place where my husband was killed, and kill me too,” she had said on Friday.
Locals had said that the four accused belonged to economically weaker families with poor literacy, yet earned well and led a lavish lifestyle spending on liquor and others items. Meanwhile, celebrations by common citizens over the death of the four accused in the alleged police encounter here continued.
Activists cry for rule of law
New Delhi: Senior lawyer and human rights activist Sudha Ramalingam on Saturday expressed disappointment over the encounter of the four accused in Hyderabad rape and murder case and said it was against “the civilised notion of delivery of justice.” She was also of the view that all four men should have been punished by the due process of law.
“Justice has to be delivered by the judiciary and not anybody else. Encounter is something that is very barbaric and cannot be accepted at all. It is against the civilised notion of delivery of justice,” she said.
“Safety of women is still a big issue because we are still in a patriarchal society. Boys should be taught from childhood about how to treat women equally and respectfully,” Ramalingam added.
Senior advocate Kamini Jaiswal, who has long advocated for important criminal reforms, also related to Hyderabad’s encounter and said: “Yes, for victim’s family it is a closure. They will have some sense of justice and no more have to run around the system. I appreciate that. But I cannot appreciate the celebration of the country.”
“We are not living in a banana republic. If we give such power to the police to shoot down people then what is the need of the criminal justice system. We can’t celebrate the encounter like this,” Jaiswal added.
Activist Trupti Desai also commented on the matter and urged the Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Adityanath to take requisite measures for women’s safety. “What will you do by making Ram Mandir when the Sita of your State is not safe? Girls are fearing to move outdoors. Children are afraid to go to schools and colleges. Please do something about the safety of women.” These comments from the activists came after battling for life at Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital, the Unnao Rape victim who was set ablaze while on her way to a court hearing on Thursday morning, died at 11.40 pm on Friday.
On Thursday, the 23-year-old was airlifted from Lucknow’s SMC government hospital to Safdarjung Hospital. According to the police, five miscreants allegedly threw kerosene on the woman and set her ablaze when she was on her way to a local court for the hearing of a rape case she had filed in March.
Premature to react on encounter: BJP
Hyderabad: The Telangana State unit of BJP on Saturday said that it’s too early to react to Friday’s encounter killing of four men, who were accused of rape and murder of 26-year-old veterinarian last month.
“BJP feels Hyderabad encounter incident is still premature to react. These are just initial media reports and the Telangana DGP should make an official statement outlining the entire incident timeline. As a responsible national party BJP will react only after official police statement,” read the release dated December 6 issued by Spokesperson K Krishna Saagar Rao.
BJP said that it had condemned the incident and “pressured” the Telangana State government to act and bring the accused to justice.” “The gang rape and murder is a horrendous crime, BJP has condemned it, and as a responsible Opposition party has also pressured the Telangana State government to act and bring the accused to justice,” the release said.
BJP urged the Telangana State government and Director General of Police to convene a press conference immediately. “However, India is not a Banana Republic and is bound by legal and constitutional framework. Politics over crime, cannot set a right precedence. Telangana State government and DGP of Telangana should convene a press conference immediately.”