Hyderabad: The Supreme Court-appointed Commission to inquire into the alleged encounter killing of four people, accused of raping and murdering a veterinarian here in December 2019, said only some of the video footages of the scene of the incident were produced before it and that there was an unexplained delay in sending the FIR (of the incident) to the court.
The three-member Inquiry Commission, headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice V S Sirpurkar, in its report submitted to the apex court, had revealed that the firing by the police personnel was deliberate and three of the deceased were juveniles.
The four suspects — Mohammed Arif, Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu, Jolu Shiva and Jollu Naveen — were arrested on November 29, 2019 in connection with the gang-rape and murder of the woman veterinarian on November 27.
The four men were killed in an alleged encounter, (while in police custody), with the police on December 6, 2019 at Chattanpally near here — the same highway– where the charred body of the 25-year-old veterinarian was found.
The Cyberabad police had said its personnel resorted to “retaliatory” firing after two of the accused opened fire at the police after snatching their weapons. The police had then said they were also attacked with stones and sticks, resulting in injuries to two policemen.
The Commission in its report stated the entire version of the police party beginning from the safe house to the incident at Chatanpally is concocted, and opined that it was impossible for the deceased suspects to have snatched the weapons of the police and they could not have operated the firearms. Therefore, the entire version is unbelievable, it added.
There is an effective network of CCTV cameras in Telangana even in rural areas and especially along the highways and it was claimed in the press conference held after the arrest of the suspects that scientific evidence played a crucial role in the detection of the crime and apprehension of the offenders, the Commission further said.
The Investigating Officer stated that he has not collected any CCTV footage either from Shadnagar Police Station or Ravi Guest House or enroute Ravi Guest House to the place of the incident, the report said, while adding that the police officials informed that they did not consider the CCTV footage of any use and therefore they did not make any attempt to collect the video clips.
“Some of the video footages of the scene of incident are produced before the Commission, which are not in seriatim and are very short clippings that appear to be sourced from a primary footage. There is no explanation by the State as to why the entire footage is not placed before the Commission,” the report noted.
The Commission observed that apart from the aforesaid lapses, there seems to have been a deliberate attempt to suppress the truth from emerging.
The state has not been able to explain why there have been multiple statements of the same witness recorded and it has not been able to explain the presence of multiple log books in relation to the bus that is said to have transported the deceased suspects, the report stated.
“Further, the absence of original medical records of concerning the injured policemen, the inability to recover all the spent cartridges and also the complete absence of the fired bullets from the scene of occurrence, in the opinion of the Commission perhaps cannot be classified as mere lapses in investigation,” the Commission said.
“As stated above, the crucial differences in the positions of the dead bodies and other material objects, and their inter-se differences in the inquest reports and crime scene panchanamas only further our conclusion that the version put forth by the police is not believable,” it said.
The Commission further said there is the usual malady of delay in sending the FIR to the court in this case also.
“In this case, the incident is said to have occurred at 06.10 AM, the complaint is sent to the police station by 8 AM and it is received by SHO at 08.30 AM. Since the court premises is at a distance of 3 kms from the police station, it should not have taken more than half an hour to fill up the columns in the FIR and the FIR should have reached the Magistrate within an hour at the most. But the FIR is received by the Magistrate at 04.40 PM, as seen from the report,” the Commission noted.
“The unexplained delay in sending the FIR to the court would only establish that the complaint was not received by the SHO at 8 AM, and it should be concluded that the delay has occurred only for confabulations and deliberations, which in turn affects the veracity of the case put forth by the State,” the Commission said.