The National Human Rights Commission has issued notice to the Chennai Police over the killing of five bank robbers in what rights groups are terming a fake encounter. The notice has been issued to the Chennai DM, SSP and IGP and seeks a response in eight weeks.
Earlier, Chennai Police Commissioner JK Tripathy said, "The police retaliated in self defence and to save innocent lives" when the suspects who were hiding inside a house in Velachery refused to surrender and opened fire instead. "Two inspectors and the five suspects were injured in the ensuing encounter. On being brought to hospital, the suspects were declared dead," he said.
Of the five men killed in the encounter, four are said to be from Bihar and one from West Bengal.
Police said five pistols, two revolvers, some cartridges and a bag with Rs 14 lakh were recovered from the house.
Even as police claimed to have cracked the case, rights activists questioned the police account and termed the encounter fake. The timing of the encounter is among the discrepancies raised by activists, especially with Velachery locals claiming police had asked them at 10pm on Wednesday to stay indoors and switch off lights.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar told reporters that he had asked the DGP of Bihar police to check with his counterparts in Tamil Nadu if the people killed were from Bihar.
CNN-IBN reported that the Bihar CM had said that one person who was supposed to be killed in the shootout is still alive.