Following a writ petition by civil rights activists seeking judicial intervention into the reported encounter of the four accused in the rape of murder of a Hyderabad vet, the Telangana High court on Friday directed the government to preserve the bodies of the four men till Monday, December 9.
The four persons — Mohammed Areef, Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen and Chennakeshavulu — were accused of rape and murder of 26-year -old Disha (name changed).
On Friday, Cyberabad police said that the four accused were killed by police in an “encounter” as they tried to overpower the officers during evidence collection, and attempted to flee by snatching guns away from the police officers, according to Cyberabad Commissioner VC Sajjanar.
Responding to the writ petition, which suspected foul play in the incident, the High Court directed officials to submit a video recording of the post-mortem in a CD to the Principal District Judge, Mahaboobnagar for all the accused.
The Court has also further directed that the dead bodies of the four deceased be preserved till 8 pm on Monday. The Principal District Judge, Mahaboobnagar will receive and submit the CD of the post-mortem to Registrar General of the HC Telangana by Saturday evening as directed by the HC.
The activists in their writ petition stated that the police’s version of events has raised serious concerns. “It would be a fallacy to even imagine that some kind of justice has been served by abandoning all due process and committing such killings. Is it permissible for police personnel to play judge, jury, executioner and mete out fatal justice in this manner? Is the ‘satisfying of the collective conscience’ in such a brazenly unlawful and murderous way healthy for a democracy? This is absolute violation of rule of law and constitutional guarantees," the petition noted.
Citing media reports, the activists said, "It is clear that all the four accused/suspects were in police custody, thus completely unarmed, and in all probabilities handcuffed. The recreation of the events at the crime scene at 3 am in the morning raise further serious concerns into these extra-judicial killings." Cyberabad Commissioner VC Sajjanar however clarified on Friday that the accused were not handcuffed.
The postmortem of the bodies was conducted at Mahaboobnagar District Hospital under the supervision of the Superintendent of the Hospital and a team of forensic experts from Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad.
On Friday, the four accused were killed when they were taken to Chatanpally to recover the phone, wallet and power bank of the victim, Disha. Disha’s burnt body was found close to the spot of the reported encounter near the underpass of Shadnagar Outer Ring Road (ORR) on November 27.