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‘Disha rape-murder accused killed in a fake encounter’ !

English News'Disha rape-murder accused killed in a fake encounter' !

Police “deliberately fired on four accused of rape and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad, with an intent to cause their death”, a Supreme Court-appointed panel which probed the 2019 encounter has said in its report.

The panel headed by former SC judge VS Sirpurkar recommended filing of murder charges against 10 policemen responsible for the killing the 4 accused of rape and murder of veterinary doctor Disha. The panel found three of the four killed – Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen and and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu – were minors.

Justice Sirpurkar said that the police claims that they snatched pistols from policemen and tried to escape were not backed by evidence. When the issue came up before a bench led by CJI NV Ramana on Friday, he said that he would make the report public and remand the case back to the high court for follow up action.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan opposed any move to make the report public, insisting it would prejudice the case of the accused. Instead he urged the court to remand the case to a trial court. The CJI said that since SC cannot monitor trial in the case, it would leave the HC to monitor it. The accused cops can then get an opportunity to defend themselves, he said. Divan then urged the court to adjourn the case till after the summer recess.

Those under 16 cannot be tried under criminal laws for rape or sent to jail if convicted. Minors in conflict with the law can at best be remanded to observation homes, or correction homes, where they have the opportunity to reform before returning to society. The incident where Disha was gangraped, brutalised and left to die had shocked the country. Hyderabad Police shortly afterwards shot dead four persons in an encounter.

The police claimed that the accused tried to flee after trying to snatch pistols, prompting police to fire on them, killing them. Police in India face routine allegations of conducting fake encounters to take the heat off cases which are particularly gruesome.

In 2010, similar allegations were made in a case of a rape and murder of two siblings by a Coimbatore driver. TN Police had claimed in the case that the driver snatched a revolver and opened fire to escape, while he was taken for reconstruction of the crime scene early morning. He died when police fired in self-defence, the TN police had claimed.

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