The Commission pulled up Surender who was also the Investigating Officer in the case, for contradictions in his statement and other gaps in his affidavit.

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news Disha encounter Saturday, October 23, 2021 - 12:57

Vasam Surender, the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Shadnagar Division) of the Telangana police at the time the four accused in the Disha case were killed, said on Friday, October 23, that he was threatened by officials of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) during his deposition. He appeared before the Justice Sirpurkar Commission, which is investigating the alleged encounter of four persons — Mohammed Arif, Jollu Naveen, C Chennakesavulu and Jollu Shiva — accused in the rape and murder of Disha on December 6, 2019. 

The Commission pulled up Surender —  who was also the Investigating Officer in the case —  for contradictions in his statement and other ‘gaps’ in his affidavit.  According to The Hindu, referring to the 15-page signed statements of Surender recorded by the NHRC, the Commission’s advocate Virupaksha Dattatreya Gouda asked, “Is this your statement before NHRC?” For which, Surender, who is presently posted in the Crime Investigation Department (CID) replied, “The signatures on all the pages are mine. I do not know what statement they have written,” he said. He reportedly added that it was late at night, and that they threatened that if they write a report, he will be suspended. 

Surender claimed that the NHRC officials did not record what he had stated and allegedly picked an argument with him. He reportedly said that since it was late in the night, his mental state was not well. And because of their threatening, he did not want to cause further trouble and signed the statement, he said, The Times of India reported.

After the alleged encounter, the NHRC officials had taken a statement from Surender at the police academy. Surender told the Commission that he did not make an issue about the NHRC’s threat but apprised the Deputy Commissioner of Police of Shamshabad Prakash Reddy, The New Indian Express reported.

When Commission members asked whether the Investigating Officer or his department and the NHRC had any enmity, he reportedly said, “I have no acquaintance with them to know whether they have any enmity.” He also claimed that details in his affidavit had some ‘gaps’ compared to his case diaries. The Commission came down strongly against the Investigating Officer for disowning his own statement which he had written categorically.

Surender said that he did not make any mistakes in the case diaries and that was his interpretation in making those entries. “In so far as the affidavit is concerned, the mistakes occurred because of the gaps between my instructions and the preparation of the affidavit by the advocate. In so far, the NHRC statement is concerned, it is not what I had stated, it was written by them on their own,” the officer said. 

During the examination, the Investigating Officer was questioned about the confessional statements of the four accused, where Surender stated that it was recorded at the safe house by panch witnesses with the help of a scribe on the intervening night of December 5-6, 2019. 

The Commission’s advocate, however, questioned the officer’s claims by pointing at his case diary where it was mentioned that the confessions were recorded by him. The officer said that he did not make any such statement before Investigating Officer J Surender Reddy, who had probed the encounter case for the Telangana police.

The former Shadnagar ACP claimed that there was no mistake in the case diary either. He said that the mistake occurred in the affidavit due to a gap between his instructions and preparation of the document by the advocate. 

The officer went to the extent of saying that the statements recorded by J Surender Reddy were ‘incorrect’. In response, the Commission members remarked, “He is disowning all his previous statements,” When asked which part was recorded ‘incorrectly’, Surender said that he was unable to recall and he would answer as and when he remembers it.

 

 

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