Following the brutal rape and murder of the 25-year-old veterinary doctor on the outskirts of Hyderabad on 28 November, police probing the matter on Sunday said that they planned to file a petition in court, seeking custody of the four accused for further interrogation. The four men, all lorry workers, who were arrested on Friday for allegedly raping and killing the woman were sent to judicial custody for 14 days by the executive magistrate who passed the order at the Shadnagar police station. The accused could not be produced in court on Saturday due to the presence of a large number of protesters in front of the police station.
"As part of further investigation, we are thinking of filing a custody petition shortly," a senior police official told PTI. "It (custodial interrogation) may be done in the jail itself," the official said.
He debunked reports in a section of the press which claimed that one of the accused had sexually assaulted the dead body. "The accused, who were all drunk, had also attempted to forcibly make the victim drink liquor, but she did not do so," the official said. Asked if the lorry driver would also be arrested, he replied in the negative, saying the man was a witness.
On Saturday night, three policemen were suspended for alleged delay in registering an FIR in the case after an inquiry following allegations levelled by the family that police had cited jurisdictional reasons and not acted on time on their complaint on the missing woman, said Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar. He further said a detailed enquiry was conducted following which a sub-inspector and two constables were suspended. All police officers have once again been instructed to register cases, irrespective of jurisdiction whenever a complaint related to cognisable offence is received in the police station, the Commissioner said.
The News Minute reported that the suspended police personnel are: M Ravi Kumar, Sub-Inspector of Police, Shamshabad Police Station, P Venu Gopal Reddy and A Sathyanarayana Goud, both head-constables at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) Police Station.
Meanwhile, a district bar association in Telangana on Sunday decided not to represent the four accused in the case. Mattapally Srinivas, president of the Ranga Reddy Bar Association, said they had taken the decision as "a moral and social responsibility against the heinous crime committed by the accused."
"We have decided not to offer any legal services to the accused. In such cases, the court may direct the District Legal Services Authority to appoint a lawyer for them. When the authority directs any advocate to represent the accused we cannot refuse it," he told PTI. Srinivas further said that some of the sections under which the four were booked by police may carry the death sentence, considering the gravity of the case.
The four men, all lorry workers, were booked under Sections 376D (gangrape), 302 (murder),201 (destroying evidence) of the Indian Penal Code. Srinivas said the Association also demanded that the government establish a separate special court to expedite the trial of the case for instant justice. They would organise a protest on 2 December at the main entrance of the court building "to condemn the inhuman attack," he said.
On Saturday, protesters pelted stones at a police vehicle as the accused were being taken to the jail in Hyderabad, and police used mild force to control the crowd. The charred body of the woman, who worked as an assistant veterinarian at a state-run hospital, was found under a culvert in Shadnagar near Hyderabad on 28 November morning, a day after she went missing, police had said.
As per a report in The News Minute, the Mandal Executive Magistrate passed the order at Shadnagar Police Station as the accused could not be produced at a fast-track court in Mahabubnagar. The magistrate was brought to the police station through the back door. The accused Mohammed Arif, Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu, Jollu Shiva and Jollu Naveen are likely to be shifted to Mahabubnagar jail, as per the report.
This came after a day of high drama which saw protests breaking out in Telangana on Saturday.
Some locals, including activists, staged a protest outside Shadnagar Police Station where the accused are lodged, raised slogans against them and demanded severe punishment for them. Some even demanded that the accused be handed over to the public.
Some protesters raised slogans condemning the crime and demanded 'an encounter' of the accused. Reports said that a massive protest was led by students in Shamshabad, where the rape and murder occurred, demanding justice for the victim. The police assured the agitators that they would ensure that the accused are convicted and urged the public to cooperate.
According to a report in the New Indian Express, several women's rights organisations organised a candlelight procession in Shadnagar. "Don’t allow the accused to be taken to court. They should be hanged for their offence,” some told the newspaper.
Meanwhile, doctors who conducted medical tests on the accused as per procedures, told reporters here the condition of the accused was normal. The local bar association has resolved not to offer any legal assistance to the accused. The 25-year-old was raped and killed on the city outskirts on Thursday night allegedly by four lorry workers, who were arrested Friday night.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Dec 01, 2019 14:29:41 IST