4 rape-murder accused killed in Police encounter in Telangana

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By Our Correspondent/Agencies

HYDERABAD: The four accused arrested in connection with the rape-and-murder of a 25-year-old woman veterinarian near here last month were killed in an alleged encounter with the police Friday morning, police said.

“The four accused were killed in an encounter with the police,” Cyberabad Police Commissioner V C Sajjanar said.The four men, all lorry workers, aged between 20 and 24, were arrested on November 29 for allegedly raping and killing the woman by smothering her and later burning her body.

They were in remanded to 7 days’ judicial custody.They were taken to the crime scene Friday morning by the police as part of the investigation, a source said.

“They fired upon the police team and we retaliated in self-defence. Two of our men are also injured in the incident,” the source said.

The gang rape-and-murder triggered a nation-wide outrage with the public and lawmakers demanding speedy punishment to the perpetrators.The state government has ordered setting up of a fast track court to expedite the trial.

Amid questions being raised on circumstances surrounding the encounter deaths on Friday of the four accused in the gang rape and murder case of the veterinarian in Hyderabad, Nirbhaya’s parents welcomed the move while Congress leader Shashi Tharoor struck a note of caution.

The mother of Nirbhaya, the 23-year-old paramedic student who died days after being gang raped in December 2012, appealed to authorities to not punish the policemen involved in the encounter.

Nirbhaya’s father also welcomed the encounter and said the family’s wait for justice ended early.

“The family of the Hyderabad doctor will not have to wait for justice for seven years like us. Police did the right thing,” he said.

Congress leader and Lok Sabha member Shashi Tharoor, however, said extra judicial killings were not acceptable.

“Agree in principle. We need to know more, for instance if the criminals were armed, the police may have been justified in opening fire preemptively. Until details emerge we should not rush to condemn. But extra-judicial killings are otherwise unacceptable in a society of laws,” he tweeted.

Rekha Sharma, National Commission for Women chief, said she was happy that the perpetrators were dead, but justice should have been done through proper legal channels, she said.

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