‘Deliberately fired upon’, SC commission on encounter of gang-rape, murder accused in Hyd

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The Supreme Court appointed commission said four gang-rape and murder accused, including three minors, who were killed in a police encounter in Hyderabad, were deliberately fired upon with an intent to cause their death. The commission recommended that all 10 police officers should be tried for murder.

The commission’s report said, “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 suspect.”

During the hearing on Friday, a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Raman did not agree with a counsel’s contention that the report of the commission should be kept in a sealed cover. The bench said: “This relates to the encounter case. There is nothing to keep here. The Commission has found someone guilty.” It added, “We want to send the matter to the high court.”

According to the report, three of the four were minors. “We are of the opinion that at the relevant time, Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu were minors,” added the report.

The commission cited lapses in the investigation of the case and said all 10 policemen should be tried for murder. “The different acts committed by each of them were done in furtherance of common intention to kill the deceased suspects,” added the report.

The four accused — Mohammed Arif, Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu, Jolu Shiva, and Jollu Naveen — were arrested in connection with the gang-rape and murder of a 27-year-old veterinary female doctor in November 2019. They were shot dead near the same highway – where the charred body of the woman was found.

In August last year, the top court granted an extension to the commission, headed by former top court judge V.S. Sirpurkar, to file the final report on the encounter killing of the four accused. The top court in December 2019 set up the commission to inquire into the circumstances leading to the encounter and asked to submit the report in six months.

The other members of the Commission include former Bombay High Court judge Rekha Sondur Baldota and former CBI director D.R. Karthikeyan.

The police have claimed that the woman was kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and later murdered.

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