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. "The four accused were killed in an encounter with the police," Cyberabad Police Commissioner V C Sajjanar told the PTI.
Interestingly, V.C. Sajjanar, who is now the commissioner for Cyberabad, was then the superintendent of police of Warangal district where two engineering students attacked with acid over a suspected case of spurned love in 2008. The three suspects were subsequently gunned down in an encounter with police.
The accused were a few hours after they threw acid on two girls by the Andhra Pradesh police. Warangal Superintendent of Police V.C. Sajannar told reporters that a police team had taken the accused to the place where they had hidden the stolen motorbike and acid bottle used in the attack.
"They suddenly took out a country-made weapon and tried to open fire and also threw acid on policemen. The police opened fire in self-defence, killing all the three accused," he said, reported IANS.
The accused were arrested on Friday evening and Sajannar had presented them before the media, claiming that the police achieved the breakthrough within 48 hours. The trio had admitted to having committed the crime.
Sajannar said Srinivas had confessed during interrogation that he bore a grudge against Swapnika as she refused to reciprocate his love and was seeing another boy. He planned the attack with two friends to disfigure Swapnika so that no one would be attracted to her. Swapnika's family members said they were relieved that the accused had been killed. Three identified as Srinivas, Harikrishna, Sanjay who were accused in acid attack case.
The families of the accused, however, alleged that they were murdered by the police. Human rights activists have also raised doubts about the police claim that the accused were killed in a gun battle.
VC Sajjanar has also played key role in the encounter killing of naxal Nayeemuddin alias Nayeem. Back then he was the IG Special Intelligence Branch that deals with the naxals. Nayeem was shot dead in the Hyderabad outskirts.
(Inputs from IANS, PTI)