Hyderabad Encounter: Is it justified? - watsupptoday.com
Hyderabad Encounter: Is it justified?
Posted 06 Dec 2019 06:05 PM

WATSUPPTODAY



Four men accused of raping and killing a young veterinarian in Telangana were shot dead by cops earlier this morning when they were trying to escape from the crime scene where they were taken for reconstruction as part of investigations. The killing of the four accused in the rape-murder case, which triggered nationwide shock and horror over the last week, has sparked mixed reactions across the nation.

The 26-year-old woman was raped, killed and then set on fire on November 27 by four men at a toll booth near Hyderabad, police had said. Her body, badly burnt, was found the next day, 60 km from Hyderabad. The four accused - Mohammed (26), Jollu Shiva (20), Jollu Naveen (20) and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu (20) - were arrested two days later.

At around 3 am today, they were taken to the scene of the crime for reconstruction as part of investigations. They were shot dead when they tried to escape, according to the police.


The 27-year-old victim's family has welcomed the police action and so have others who are lauding it as "speedy justice". Speaking to a news agency, the father said that his daughter's soul may now be at peace. Telangana police have solved the case in record time and have set an example for the rest of the country, said the victim's sister.

People were seen shouting slogans in praise of the Hyderabad Police. Flowers were showered on police personnel. People were seen celebrating the police action in other parts of the country, including the cosmopolitan city of Mumbai.

Some politicians too have justified the police action. Mayawati, the former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh said the police action is "commendable" and that justice has been done. She went on to say, "Had police taken similar tough action in the case of Nirbhaya gangrape, justice could have been delivered early."


Same Cop: 2nd Encounter

This is not the first time Cyberabad commissioner of police VC Sajjanar is caught up in the middle of a storm over an unsanctioned encounter which seems to have bypassed prevalence over the rule of law. In 2008, he was the superintendent of police in Warangal when a similar incident took place.

In December 2008, police in Andhra Pradesh shot dead three men accused of throwing acid on two women. Both of the victims were engineering students of the Kakatiya Institute of Technology. Reports at the time had suggested that they were attacked with acid after one of them turned down the proposal of one of the accused.

In his defense of the police action, Sajjanar had claimed that personnel fired at the three accused during a re-enactment of the crime scene after the accused attempted to attack the police by throwing crude bombs at them. Similar to the case from Cyberabad in Telangana, the accused in Warangal were also arrested within 48 hours and killed within days of the arrest. Sajjanar was hailed as the 'encounter cop' by social media users and the police action was lauded by the acid attack victims and their families.


Concerns Over the Encounter

1. The case was still under investigation. The charge sheet had not been filed. The trial had not begun. The court was yet to hear the accused and the prosecution. It was not yet proven that the accused who were shot dead were the actual culprits of the gangrape and murder. And, even if they were the culprits, the police were not authorized to take their lives.

2. Also when the accused are being taken out of lockup or prison, they are always taken with adequate guards and under handcuffs. The police team in a case of such gruesome offense would not take chance by inadequately equipping themselves with the weapons. Therefore, it has to be assumed that there was a sizable number of escorting people and the accused were taken with handcuffs. There was no question of the accused having any weapons.


3. Assuming that the accused tried to flee, it is settled law that in such a case the escorting policeman is permitted by law to use a firearm, but only to hit them on the lower part of their body to make them fall; to avoid their absconding and not to kill them.
If they were hit by bullets on lower parts of their bodies, then they would not have been instantaneously killed. With these circumstances, the case of policemen – a genuine encounter – becomes difficult to be accepted.

Conclusion

In the present case of Hyderabad, instant justice appears to have been done to the satisfaction of a small section of society. But, if the encounters are fake or stage-managed, it does not improve the image of our system. It will have to be necessary to find out, as the law says, that for every police encounter there has to be a magisterial inquiry. We will have to find out whether the case by the policemen is factually true.

Policemen on duty, on the other hand, also need to be protected for the discharge of their honest duties. Section 100 of the Indian Penal Code provides that right to self-defense to be extended to causing death in appropriate cases. Whether the Hyderabad case, whereas many as four suspects were killed, would be covered under Section 100 of IPC or not could be decided by the magisterial inquiry by collecting facts.

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