Disha case: SC panel visits encounter site near Hyderabad

Hyderabad: The Supreme Court-appointed inquiry commission probing the alleged encounter killing of four suspects in the gang-rape and murder of a woman veterinarian, on Sunday inspected Chatanpally where the accused were gunned down by police two years ago.

The three-member judicial commission, whose probe is said to be in the final stage, visited Chatanpally near Shadnagar town, about 50 km from Hyderabad.

V.S. Sirpurkar Commission chairman and members Justice Rekha P. Sondur Baldota and Dr D.R. Kaarthikeyan inspected the open fields where the four persons accused of raping and murdering her, were killed in an alleged encounter on December 6, 2019. They also visited the underpass of the national highway where the victim’s charred body was found on November 27, 2019.

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Some local residents staged a protest during the commission’s visit to Shadnagar police station. They raised slogans opposing the investigation and justifying the killings of the suspects.

The protesters sat on the road in front of the police station and raised slogans of ‘Sirpurkar Commission go back’. The police dispersed the protesters.

Elaborate security arrangements were made during the commission’s visit.

The panel is also likely to inspect the open plot near Tondupally toll plaza on the outskirts of Hyderabad, where the veterinarian was allegedly raped and killed.

The commission started proceedings in August and concluded it last month. It is likely to submit a report to the Supreme Court on February 2, 2022.

The commission examined many witnesses, police officials and the family members of the four men killed. It recorded the statements of key police officials including then Cyberabad police commissioner V.C. Sajjanar, investigation officer Surender Reddy, Special Investigation Team (SIT) chief and Rachakonda Commissioner Mahesh Bagwat and Deputy Commissioner of Police Prakash Reddy.

The panel was set up on December 12, 2019 to inquire into the circumstances leading to the killing of four accused in the case.

The four accused were shot dead at Chatanpally on National Highway-44 near Hyderabad, the same highway where the charred body of a 27-year-old Disha (as the victim is referred to by the investigators) was found.

According to police, Disha was kidnapped and sexually assaulted near Outer Ring Road (ORR) on the outskirts of Hyderabad on the night of November 27, 2019. After the sexual assault, the accused murdered her, took the body to Chatanpally and set it afire.

The Supreme Court constituted the panel while hearing petitions raising doubts that the police killed the accused in their custody and projected it as an encounter.

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