Hyderabad: The seemingly peaceful environs of Shadnagar on National Highway-44 now reek of blood. The December 6 encounter was the fourth in the region. All those killed in these encounters were notorious criminals with the exception of Friday’s four.
So far, since the first recorded encounter in the area in November 2002, that of notorious dacoits Kodati Satyanarayana and M Sammaiah, Shadnagar has seen eight persons getting killed in exchanges of fire.
The latest, on Friday, when the four rape suspects — Mohammed Arif and his accomplices Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu — were shot dead while allegedly trying to escape from the police, has rattled the villagers near the shooting site, especially because they were yet to recover from the shock of finding the charred body of the Shadnagar rape-victim on November 28.
Though police officials say there was no specific reason for encounters happening in Shadnagar and adjoining areas, sources say the vicinity has vast tracts of open lands with greenery and human inhabitation was less. Apart from encounters, sources say investigating officers use farmhouses in the area for questioning notorious criminals before arresting them and getting them remanded in judicial custody.
According to police, both Satyanarayana and Sammaiah were arrested for committing dacoities. A police team was bringing them from Shadnagar to Rajendranagar when the duo tried to escape from the police vehicle. The police opened fire, killing both of them on the spot near Palamakula village.
The next encounter was after quite a lull, in August 2014, that of notorious chain snatcher K Shiva, whose gang pulled off over 700 snatchings. Shiva was shot dead by the Cyberabad police in Shamshabad while surrendered naxalite and gangster Mohammed Nayeemuddin alias Nayeem was killed in an encounter at the Millennium Township Colony in Shadnagar in August 2016. An AK-47 weapon was also seized from the spot after Nayeem’s encounter.
In Friday’s incident, the four rape suspects were killed in an exchange of fire in an agricultural land barely 300 metre from a culvert where they allegedly burnt the body of the 26-year-old woman after raping and smothering her to death.
Senior police officials, however, maintained that Shadnagar was not ‘selected’ for encounters, and repeated that none of these incidents were pre-planned.