New Delhi: People across the country went into a frenzy after the Telangana police on Friday morning, shot down all the four men, who were accused of killing and murdering the 26-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad’s Shamshabad area on November 27.  The Cyberabad police has asserted that the accused were killed in exchange of fire, after two of them (accused) snatched pistols from the officials who had brought them to the crime spot for reconstruction of scene.

Hailing the police’s decision, the woman’s father said,”It has been 10 days to the day my daughter died. I express my gratitude towards the police and the government for this. My daughter’s soul must be at peace now.”

Meanwhile, a writ petition was filed in Telangana High Court against the killing of the four men. The court will  hear the matter at 10:30 AM on Monday. The court has sought the post-mortem videos and also directed officials to preserve the bodies of the accused until December 9.

Reports claimed that bodies will be handed over to the families only after 8 pm on Monday night.

Meanwhile, responding to the criticism from some quarters that the ‘police took law in its hand by killing the accused’, Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar asserted that ‘law has done its own duty’.

Referring the four accused– Mohammed Arif (26), Jollu Shiva (20), Jollu Naveen (20) and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu (20) as ‘hardcore criminals’, Sajjanar claimed that the accused, who were not handcuffed, attacked police with stones, sticks and other sharp objects.  “As they did not surrender despite the warning, the police had to open retaliatory fire. Later, all four were found dead with bullet injuries,” he added.

Petals Showered, Firecrackers Burst – How People Hail The Encounter

As the news of the killings spread, people at various places in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana gathered to hail the police. They raised slogans of ‘police zindabad’ and showered petals from a bridge, under which the victim’s charred body was found on November 28, a few hours after she was gang-raped at Shamshabad on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

Hundreds of people who gathered at Chatanpally hailed Cyberabad Police, especially its commissioner Sajjanar for killing the perpetrators of the heinous crime. Some of them also burst firecrackers and distributed sweets. Several people dialled 100 to congratulate and thank the police for killing the accused.

Rights Groups Slam The Killing

Terming the encounter ‘extra-judicial killings’,  Human rights groups slammed Telangana police for their decision to shot down all the four accused.  People’s Union For Civil Liberties (PUCL) termed the “encounter” killings a “planned murder” and called for registering an FIR against the policemen involved.

Appealing to people not to celebrate the gunning down of four accused by the Cyberabad police, PUCL said this “will not stop or even make a dent to the rape culture”.

The Prgatisheel Mahila Sangathan, Delhi, the Progressive Organization of Women (Telengana & Andhra Pradesh) and Sthe tree Jagruti Manch, Punjab, issued a joint statement and demanded arrest of Telangana Chief Minister and police chief for the killings. They alleged that custodial murder was carried out on the direction of the Telangana government.

“First an incompetent police force forces the family of a missing girl to do rounds of the police stations in order to register a missing complaint. Then politicians and police, both totally complacent about their misgovernance and refusing to place the responsibility for rising violence against women at door of governance and policing, fuel displaced hysterical responses for street punishment,” said the statement.

S Jeevan Kumar, co-ordination committee member of Human Rights Forum, condemned the arbitrary and extrajudicial killings carried out by Telangana government. “The judicial process should have been completed and punishment could have been given according to Indian law. The government has taken advantage of emotional public outcry. The State should have adhered to the due procedure in delivering justice. We are compelled to believe that the government has no faith in judiciary and its own law,” he said.

He demanded that the police personnel involved in “encounter” should be booked under murder charges as per the Supreme Court’s guidelines, and be tried in a court of law.

Mixed Reaction From Politicians

BJP leader Maneka Gandhi said that police can’t take law in its hands. Jo hua hai bohot bhayanak hua hai desh ke liye (Whatever happened is really dangerous to our country). You can’t take law in your hands, they(accused) would’ve been hanged by Court anyhow. If you’re going to shoot them before due process of law has been followed, then what’s the point of having courts, law & police? You cannot kill people because you want to. You cannot take law in your hands, they(accused) would have been hanged by Court anyhow”, Gandhi stated.

Echoing similar remarks, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that it is something to be worried about. People have lost their faith in the criminal justice system. Together all the governments will have to take action on how to strengthen criminal justice system”, Kejriwal asserted.

Samjawadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan, who had demanded lynching for Hyderabad rapists, said,”Der aaye, durust aaye…der aaye, bohot der aaye..”

Former Uttar Pradsesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party Supremeo Mayawati asked Delhi and Uttar Pradesh police to take inspiration from Hyderabad Police. “Crimes against women are on the rise in Uttar Pradesh, but the state government is sleeping. Police here and also in Delhi should take inspiration from Hyderabad Police, but unfortunately, here criminals are treated as state guests, there is jungle raj in UP right now”, she stated.

Nirbhaya Parents Welcome The Encounter

Hailing Telangana police’s decision to gun down all the accused, mother of December 16 gangrape victim Asha Devi said, “I would like to thank the police. I am very happy with the kind of punishment they have got. The police have set an example. The police have done a very good job. There should be no action against the police. Criminals need to be scared of the police. We need this kind of punishment for criminals these days.”

“Something has changed today with the action by the Telangana Police. I am very happy,” she added.

Echoing similar remarks, Nirbhaya’s father Badrinath Singh said, “Am happy with the encounter because our daughter’s rapist is still alive and we die everyday. At least the parents of the Telangana woman won’t have to go through this… It would have been worse for the Telangana Police if the accused had escaped. They did a good job.”

What Happened on November 27 and 28?

On November 27, the men Mohammed Arif (26), Jollu Shiva (20), Jollu Naveen (20) and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu (20) saw the 27-year-old woman park her scooter near a toll-booth. They hatched a conspiracy and deflated one of her scooter tyres.

When she returned after meeting her friend, they offered her help and took her to a truck yard where they took turns to rape her until she started bleeding. Later they strangulated her and burnt her body.