SC Panel Calls Encounter ‘Fake’, Says Cops’ Version ‘Concocted’


New Delhi: A three-member investigation committee on the encounter of four persons suspected of raping and murdering a veterinarian (called Disha) in December 2019 in Hyderabad claimed that the police officials fired on purpose, and suggested that those involved in this case be tried for murder charges, news agency PTI reported.

The Commission, directed by Supreme Court Justice (now retired) V S Sirpurkar, also established that three of the deceased were children at the time of death.

Mohammed Arif, Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu, Jolu Shiva, and Jollu Naveen were detained in connection with November 29, 2019, gang-rape and murder of a woman veterinarian.

In its 387-page report, the Commission stated that there are several differences in the official account regarding the two deceased flinging dirt and muck at police, grabbing firearms from police, and firing at them indiscriminately.

The four were slain in an alleged police confrontation on December 6 in Chattanpally, on the same highway where the 25-year-old veterinarian’s burnt body was discovered.

According to the authorities, the veterinarian was abducted, sexually abused, then killed on November 27, 2019. They said that the accused had later torched the woman’s body.

“In our considered opinion, the accused were deliberately fired upon with an intent to cause their death and with the knowledge that the firing would invariably result in the death of the deceased suspects,” the Commission report submitted to the Supreme Court was quoted by PTI in its report.

The evidence reveals that the whole narrative of the police party, from the safe house to the event at Chatanpally, is made up. The slain suspects could not have stolen the police weapons and could not have fired the rifles. As a result, the entire story is implausible, according to the report.

“After considering the entire material on record, we conclude that the deceased has not committed any offense in connection with the incident on December 6, 2019, like snatching the weapons, attempting to escape from the custody, assaulting and firing at the police party,” it said.

The panel further determined that all ten police officers should face charges under Sections 302 (murder) r/w 34 IPC, 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) r/w 302 IPC, and 34 IPC because the various actions performed by each of them were done in furtherance of a common plan to kill the suspects.

The Commission further noted that all of the deceased’s injuries were above the waist on essential organs, with all entry wounds on the front side and exit wounds on the back.

The parents of the deceased also claimed that their children are minors. During the investigation, it was also discovered that the suspects’ constitutional and statutory rights were infringed at the time of their arrest and remanded to judicial and police custody, according to the report.

The Commission also faulted the Judicial Magistrate who granted police custody of the accused, claiming that the law office did not demand appropriate police documentation.

According to the panel, there is a strong suspicion that the best material, such as CCTV footage and videotapes of the inquest and crime scene, has been concealed from the Commission.

The Commission found “many inconsistencies and absurdities” in the claims of two police officers who were injured on the day of the event.

According to the Commission, an inexperienced individual cannot detect the safety switch and then fire the weapon, citing the ballistics expert’s view.

It is also inconceivable that the suspects stole the guns, primed the handgun, and fired at the police officers in such a short period, as claimed by the police.

Making certain recommendations as to what should be followed, the Commission said “Just as lynching is unacceptable, so is any idea of instant justice. At any point in time, the Rule of Law must prevail. Punishment for crime has to be only by the procedure established by law.”

(With PTI Inputs)

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